Utility hikes coming soon

Waynesboro residents will see change in bills

While Waynesboro utilities consumers may be using less, they’ll soon be paying more.

Last Tuesday night, city council gave a unanimous nod to hikes for water, sewer and solid waste.

The increases, which go into effect Feb. 1, will include solid waste pick-up, water and sewer rates.

Collectively, the hikes are expected to push the average family’s utility bill up about $6.50 a month.

City administrator Jerry Coalson told council members that utility rates will need to increase in small increments each year to keep up with the cost of living.

The new rates should help balance the city’s proposed $8.28 million proposed budget, but it will be at least early February before that budget is adopted.

On Jan. 22, the second and final reading of the budget was scheduled, but the deal was tabled at the request of councilman Curtis Bell.

“I need more time to look it over,” he said. “I see some overspending, and I hate to see our constituents pay for our mistakes.”

His request was approved 4-1 with Willie Roy Williams absent and the sole opposition coming from Bill Tinley – presumably on the grounds that city council had already spent three months and six meetings on the budget.

While the delay could lead to more cuts, it could also cost most of the city’s 76 employees who were expecting to see 2.5 percent raises approved with the budget and added to their next paychecks.

After the meeting, Coalson said if city council votes to make the raises retroactive, employees will recoup the lost wages later in February.

City council will pick the budget back up at their next meeting on Feb. 4.
20 percent increase
from $14.50 to 17.40
* Dumpster and container fees will
rise accordingly
3.5 percent increase
from $3.99 per 1,000 gallons to
3.5 percent increase
from $4.23 per 1,000 gallons to
3.5 percent increase
Regular rate plus $1.24 per 1,000
gallons surcharge

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