NATCHEZ — Beginning July 1, city water rates will increase, some gradually over a five-year period.
The good news about this rate increase is that despite the rate increase, in 2027 the customer of Natchez Water Works will still pay less for water than ratepayers do today at Clinton, Olive Branch , McComb, Vicksburg and a number of others of similar size. Mississippi towns.
The mayor and council of aldermen tonight agreed to the third or three options for rate increases presented by Tony Moon, superintendent of Natchez Water Works, at the council meeting two weeks ago.
Basic ratepayers who use less than 300 cubic feet of water per month would get an increase of $2 per month for water and $2 per month for sewer starting July 1. industry connections. This group would not see another increase during the five-year transition period.
The majority of ratepayers in the city – 46.8% – are those who use between 300 and 10,000 cubic feet of water per month. The rate for these users will be increased by 5% per 100 cubic feet of water used over five years, beginning in the second year on October 1, 2023.
Natchez’s 84 largest water users pay 36.3% of Natchez Water Works’ annual revenue. These customers include hotels, some restaurants, car washes, and industrial and manufacturing companies.
Tariffs for these users, while increasing, will do so at a more modest level over the five-year period. For example, customers who use 300,000 to 1,000,000 cubic feet of water per month will see their base rate increase from $2.46 to $2.58 in year 2, with no further increase in subsequent years.
Base rate payers haven’t had a rate increase in 15 years, Moon said. The other taxpayers have not had a rate increase for 11 years.
“We’re trying to get the word out so everyone knows why we’re doing this,” Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said. “At the end of the day, expenses go up and revenues don’t keep up with expenses. We recently had a slight increase in revenue due to the success that we’re having, but the bottom line is that those two numbers are $500,000 apart and that’s been the situation since 2017-18 and they’re living off of savings because Water Works revenues no longer support Water Works expenses.
At the end of fiscal year 2021, Water Works expenses were $6.187 million against revenues of $5.525 million.
The order submitted for the water rate increase also included a provision transferring approval for the setting of water works charges, such as deposits, late fees, disconnection fees and faucet, to the Water Works Board, away from the Board of Aldermen. The aldermen balked at this decision and amended the ordinance to delete the part transferring this authority to the water commission.
After this amendment, the council then approved the ordinance unanimously.