Salisbury water and sewer bills will increase 2 percent

Water and sewer bills in Salisbury will increase 2 percent this year.

Ordinance 2386, outlining the increase, was passed on second reading by the Salisbury City Council, without comment, on Monday. The hike was proposed in Mayor Jake Day’s FY17 budget. The increase will take effect Oct. 1.

There is no property tax increase this year.

This week, Day told the Salisbury Independent it isn’t possible to estimate how much the 2 percent increase will cost the average homeowner because, “It depends on how much water you use.”

Basing it on his average quarterly water bill of less than $100, he said others who pay that amount will face an increase of about $2.

“It’s less than a cup of coffee,” City Councilwoman Laura Mitchell said.

Water and sewer fees had been reduced every year for the past few years under the previous administration, Day said.

“There were several warnings from the finance director about that. Now we’re trying to stabilize these accounts. We’re trying to get off the roller coaster,” Day said.

Fees are reset with every annual budget, he said.

Mitchell said water and sewer fees were slightly increased last year, after having been reduced “at the ideal time, when the recession was in full swing and people were really struggling.”

“It’s a relatively small amount. A couple of years ago it was cut. We are rebuilding the wastewater treatment plant. We can get funding for that, but other sites need upgrading, so it’s important that we keep everything running,” she said.

A list of rates are posted on the city’s Web site.

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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