GARLAND — Residents may see a change in their water bills in the near future.
During a Tuesday Garland Commissioners meeting, Deputy Town Clerk Teresa Smith presented a proposal to slightly increase water and sewer fees. A few alternatives involving residents were presented, with raises ranging from 25 cents to $1 per 1,000 gallons used. The current flat fee ranged from 50 cents to $1. Smith said a small bump may be necessary to stay on track, instead of having a big jump in the future.
“I think something little all along is what we should be doing every couple of years,” Smith said.
For in-town residents, the first water proposal would increase the $12 flat fee to $12.50. The rate per 1,000 gallons would go from $3.50 to $3.75. A $20 flat fee is set for sewer rates, but under the first proposal the fee would increase to 50 cents. For every 1,000 gallons, it would go up from from $4 to $4.25. Bases on March bills, the amount would generate an extra $870.72 (approximately $10,400 per year).
Under the second proposal, the amounts for gallons used would remain the same, but the flat fees would increase by $1. This would generate an extra $720 per month (approximately $8,640 per year in collection fees).
Commercial and out-of-town residential proposal rates were also presented during the presentation.
With garbage and recycling services not included, a customer using 1,030 gallons per month currently paying $55.23 per month would pay $56.74 or $57.23 under the proposals made.
A restaurant owner using 7,670 gallons per month is currently paying $89.53 per month, but could pay between $93 and $95 dollars if a new rate is improved.
“It doesn’t matter which one you pick, but you need to pick something, so we don’t end up like we did a few years ago and have to raise them a lot at one time,” Smith said.
Smith recently participated in a webinar that focused on water and sewer rates in North Carolina towns.
“Our rates with water are really good, we are pretty much right online with what everyone else was doing, compared to us,” Smith said. “Our sewer rates are a little higher than everybody else, but when you average it together with the water, sewer bill … we’re good.”
Commissioners agreed to study the information and go over the proposal during budget work session and special meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, April 19.
Envirolink presents to Garland
Micheal Myers, president of Envirolink, made a presentation to commissioners for public works services.
The town is in the process of filling a void when it comes to public works duties throughout town. At the beginning of the year, commissioners began searching after severing ties with Envirolink in hopes of finding a director that would be more accessible. A contract with the company expired April 1, but after not having success with finding a director, it’s a possibility that Garland may go back with Envirolink.
The business specializes in water management and other public work services for customers throughout North Carolina.
While addressing the commission, Myers said someone will be more attainable for services. Some of them included managing the wastewater system, picking up loose leaves for customer, street cleaning or mosquito control.
Mayor Winifred Murphy said a decision would be made soon regarding the acceptance or denial of another contract with Envirolink.