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Rogersville leaders reject proposal for automatic water rate increases

April 8th, 2014 11:15 pm by Jeff Bobo

Rogersville leaders reject proposal for automatic water rate increases

ROGERSVILLE — A plan to automatically adjust the Rogersville water rate annually based on the cost of living index was rejected Tuesday by city leaders, although the potential for annual incremental increases is still a possibility.

Last month, the Rogersville Water Commission asked the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to consider drafting an ordinance calling for the water rate to be adjusted each year based on the rate of inflation reflected in the cost of living index — plus one percent.

The idea was to have small rate hikes every year to keep up with cost increases in the water department as opposed to a 22 percent increase every 10 years, like the hike that Rogersville water customers were hit with last year.

This past year the cost of living increased 1.5 percent, which under the proposed ordinance would call for a water rate increase of 2.5 percent.

With that increase, the average Rogersville residential water customer's bill would be $1.35 higher per month, as opposed to the more than $10 per month average increase residential customers experienced last year.

City Attorney Bill Phillips had been directed by the BMA last month to draft a proposed ordinance implementing the automatic increases.

One problem some board members had with the proposed ordinance, however, was that city leaders wouldn't be able to opt out of an annual rate hike.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Wednesday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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