Monday, May 14, 2012
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COVINGTON -- The Covington City Council approved the first reading of a water rate increase at its May 7 meeting.
The city was notified about three weeks ago that Newton County is increasing wholesale water rates, according to City Manager Steve Horton. The increase amounts to an additional 30 cents per 1,000 gallons used over the minimum 3,000 gallons usage charge.
The council is expected to approve the final reading at its May 21 meeting, and if so, the new rate will go into effect July 1.
The increase will have an impact of approximately $300,000 on the city's budget, Horton said.
The impact to property owners will depend on the amount of usage. Sewer rates are remaining at $6 per 1,000 gallons.
This will be the third increase in as many years, all attributed by officials to an increase in the wholesale rate by the county. Last year, the council delayed a rate increase set to go into effect on July 1 by three months to relieve customers of some of the financial burden. The city absorbed the increased water cost for the first three months rather than pass it along to consumers, at a cost of $20,000 to $25,000 per month.
An increase in wholesale rates by the county typically results in rate increases by the county's municipalities and the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority, which purchase water from the county.