Danielsville will soon go up on its water and sewer rates for customers both inside and outside the city limits. The council discussed the proposed increases at a work session Monday night, saying that the city can no longer continue to operate in the red.
Mayor Todd Higdon said the city water system is “thousands in the hole” right now. City clerk Susan Payne said the city is $44,000 in the red revenue-wise as of right now, and about $100,000 in the red when an annual debt service payment due in January is factored in.
The council plans to increase water rates for water customers from an $8.25 base rate (0 – 2,000 gallons) to $10. Water rates for customers outside the city will increase from $15 to $26 (0 – 2,000 gallons). A comparative water rate study conducted by Rindt McDuff engineers showed that the city is $4 below the average base water rate for comparable to 12 cities with similar dynamics in Madison, Franklin and other nearby counties and about $6 below the average rate state-wide.
Mayor Higdon said a lot of city customers won’t notice much difference in their bills, but acknowledged that some higher volume customers will see a significant increase in their monthly bills.
The council is mindful of the fact that the previous administration raised water rates in 2010, increasing the base rate from $5.50 to $8.25. But that council also decreased the sewer rates at the same time, causing basically “a wash” as far as revenue went, Payne said.