Story by Jody Stewart with the LaFayette Sun
With all city council members present a unanimous vote was made to raise the city’s water and sewer rates at Monday night’s city council meeting. Recently, LaFayette has had the opportunity to receive a grant in excess of 1 million dollars to improve its water and sewer infrastructure. However, the Alabama Rural Water Authority advised the city that it had one of the lowest water and sewer rates in the state, and to qualify to receive such grants the city would have to increase its water and sewer rates to ensure the city’s ability to sustain an improved system.
Mayor Kenneth Vines, “The water issue in LaFayette was something I ran
on and I believe our city, our citizens, and our children deserve quality
water. This grant will allow us to begin the process of improving our water
situation. No one likes rate increases but it is a necessary step we must
take for our community.”
Concerned Citizen Butch Busby spoke to the council, “I would like to thank the city council for drafting this resolution. I think it is prudent. I think it is fair. I especially like the concept of having every 3rd-year rate increase to keep up with inflation. I wholeheartedly endorse the resolution and hope that you all vote favorably for it.”
Resident Jimmy Stewart addressed the council as well. “It is my understanding after speaking to ADEM for the last few months that there are somewhere around 1.8 million dollars earmarked for LaFayette setting in Montgomery in SRF funding, which is forgivable grants. You have to make the decision if you want those 1.5 million dollars by increasing rates in the city and bettering the infrastructure for the city and the citizens. Like Mr. Busby, I wholeheartedly support your decision.”
After the council voted to raise water and sewer rates it also voted on the amount of the rate increase. The council was advised by Alabama Rural Water on what an appropriate rate increase should be.
For water, the user fee will increase to $8.46 with the cost for 1000 gallons being $5.14. The sewer user fee will go to $18.58 cost for 1000 gallons will increase to $3.88. ARWA recommended a 3% rate increase every three years.