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City may ease water rate increase
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McMinnville officials are holding off on flooding local residents with a 20.5 percent increase for water and sewer rates.
The measure has been sent back to committee for further consideration.
Encouraging the step back in the process was Water and Sewer Committee chairman Jimmy Bonner.
“Mayor, I would like to table this ordinance and send it back to committee for further discussion and changes as we see fit,” said Bonner during a meeting of the Board of Mayor and Alderman.
With all board members in attendance, the motion to table the measure and send it back to committee passed unanimously.
Water and Sewer Committee members voted Sept. 24 to recommend to the full board that water and sewer rates be increased by 20.5 percent to satisfy a Tennessee Comptroller’s requirement that the department’s revenue increase by $854,388 to cover expenses.
Committee members settled on a 20.5 percent increase to satisfy the state and give the department what it needs to make upgrades. At 20.5 percent, revenue would increase by more than $1 million.
On the committee with Bonner are Aldermen Mike Neal and Billy Wood. While Bonner and Neal voted in favor of the increase in committee and sent the measure to the full board for its consideration, Wood voted against it.
Wood said he preferred a 12- or 15-percent increase for city residents, a 20-percent increase for non-city residents who are connected to the city’s water supply, and allowing the department to keep the money it pays to the city in lieu of taxes annually — approximately $250,000.
Being sent back to committee for further consideration could be good news for water customers as committee members might be considering a lower rate increase.