Florala water rates to go up?

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 26, 2010

Florala residents could see an increase in their water rates in the coming weeks as utility board members hear the results of a recent water rate evaluation next Monday.

In September, the board approved a $1.4 million budget that included an estimated $11 per customer increase; however, that increase was not implemented pending a rate review in December.

Monday, board members will hear the results of that review, presented by Kevin Hartsill of the Alabama Rural Water Association.

Chairman Marvin Williford, who called the special meeting, said Heartsill is to present rate plans of surrounding municipalities and others statewide who are similar in size to Florala.

The $11 per customer increase is expected to generate an additional $90,000 in annual revenue, which will be used to “replenish the board’s construction fund,” board manager Lynn Hughes said previously.

That fund will be exhausted after the completion of the $460,000 “Main Street Project,” which is set to replace the water and sewer pipes down Fifth Avenue from the water tower north to the Mastar Building.

Monies for that project will be paid without using grant monies.

Board members maintain the project is worth the “out of pocket” expense.

“This project is vital to the growth of Florala,” Williford said. “No one wants to travel down a horrible road, and before Main Street can be repaved, this work has to be done.”

Williford said the construction is expected to begin in the coming months.

The special called meeting is set for 11 a.m. Monday at the old Alabama Power building.