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Bertie County water rates rise

WINDSOR – In an effort to overcome annual deficits in its Enterprise Fund, Bertie County is slightly increasing the monthly rates of those served by its Regional Water System.

At their scheduled meeting here last week, the county’s Board of Commissioners approved increases to the residential, commercial, municipal, industrial, and institution/prison rates. There was also an increase for those customers requiring a 2-inch meter.

With the exception of the institution/prison category – which had an increase in 2016 – customers of the Bertie Regional Water System have paid the same flat rates and 1,000 gallon usage fees since June 21, 2010.

The system – which covers Districts I, II, III, and IV – currently has 5,100 customers.

Over the past few months, the county commissioners debated the proposed rate increases following a study by Water Superintendent Ricky Spivey

“It cost about $2.7 million [annually] to operate our water department,” Bertie County Manager Juan Vaughan II told the commissioners at last week’s meeting. “For the past three years or so, our revenues have been at $2.5 million. So we’ve had about a $200,000 deficit in each of those years. The new rates that are proposed would cover that money we’ve been losing and give us an additional $200,000 to $300,000 [annually].”

“As you heard our county manager say, we’ve been losing money each year so this increase it out of necessity,” said Commission Chair Tammy Lee. “There has been much conversation about this. We kept the increase at a bare minimum.”

Commissioner John Trent motioned to approve the new rates to become effective July 1. The motion was approved without objection.

The new water fee schedule is as follows:

Residential – the monthly flat rate will be $16.50 plus $5.50 for every 1,000 gallons used. That reflects a $1 increase in both the flat rate and the per 1,000 gallons used.

Commercial – $30 monthly flat rate plus $6 for each 1,000 gallons used per month. The current flat rate is $27 monthly plus $4.75 per 1,000 gallons.

Municipal – a monthly flat rate of $16.50 plus $5.50 for every 1,000 gallons used. Customers in this category currently pay a monthly flat rate of $15.50 plus $4.50 per 1,000 gallons.

Industrial – $500 flat rate per month plus $6 for each 1,000 gallons used. The current flat rate is $469.40 plus $4.75 per 1,000 gallons.

Institution/Prison – a flat rate of $6,000 per month plus $9 per 1,000 gallons used. Currently, the monthly flat rate is $5,301.66 plus $7.23 per 1,000 gallons.

2-inch meter – $120 monthly flat rate plus $5.50 per 1,000 gallons used. The current flat rate per month is $117.35 plus $4.75 per 1,000 gallons.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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