POINT PLEASANT — This week Point Pleasant City Council approved the second of three readings concerning an ordinance amendment to raise sewer rates.
The third reading will likely take place at a special meeting set for 7 p.m., June 21 at the municipal building. A public hearing on the rate increases will precede the meeting at 6:45 p.m. that same night.
These new sewers rates deal with maintaining the existing system and funding the North Point Pleasant Drainage Project (NPPDP). As previously reported, if the ordinances passes, new sewer rates will go into effect 45 days after the third reading passes.
The new amendment to the existing ordinance contains two phases of rate increases - again, the first going into effect 45 days after that third reading passes but the second phase goes into effect only after the project has been substantially completed. Council has discussed revisiting the phase two rates before they are implemented with the hope of receiving grants or funds to pay on the principal for the project. If these funds are found, this could result in lowering the rates though that decision is down the road and will be considered when the project is, again, substantially completed.
In regards to the first phase, residential customers currently pay $4.62 per 1,000 gallons used - that will go to $5.90 per 1,000 gallons used with each customer being charged for a minimum of 3,000 gallons each month. This means, customers who use 3,000 gallons or less are currently being charged a minimum bill of $13.86 - this will go to $17.70 per month for that 3,000 gallons, if the ordinance passes. Once the ordinance passes, the current Combined Sewer Overflow charge of $1.72 per 1,000 gallons for customers will also be removed and customers no longer charged this fee.
The raise in rates contained in phase two are as follows - customers will be charged $9 per 1,000 gallons of water with the customer continuing to be charged for a minimum of 3,000 gallons. This means customers who use 3,000 gallons or less of water will be charged a minimum of $27 per month. So to break it down, customers in Point Pleasant (who use 3,000 gallons or less of water each month) will go from paying $13.86 to $17.70 and finally $27 when the project is substantially completed.