Maysville residents could see a 24 percent water and a 36 percent sewer increase for its residents this summer following action by the city council in a called meeting Thursday.
The rate increases are contingent on Maysville receiving a GEFA loan for $750,000 to cover the construction cost of sewer line and manhole rehabilitation. If the loan is approved, the rate increases will be put in place.
While the sewer increase would be needed to meet the guidelines for the loan, the water rate increase would be put in place to cover an $89,000 shortfall in the water budget. The shortfall has been covered from the general fund, but to continue to do so, would deplete the fund in less than four years, officials report.
Chip McGaughey of EMI said that because the city has not increased the water rates for an extended period of time until last year’s increase of 15 percent, the situation has developed.
Council members Clay Dorsey, Stephen Lewis and Lyn Villyard discussed each of the options during the work session and determined with McGaughey that the proposal to do the sewer rehab and fix the pump station would place too much of a burden on residents.
Ralph Sailors from the city water department said that the sewer lines are the most pressing concern since the inflow and infiltration of the lines was a cause of concern with the EPD and the pump station had been maintained so it was not an immediate need.
Mayor Jerry Baker said that the council is faced with either committing now to raising the rates or be forced to raise the rates later without receiving any loan money in return when the EPD forces a sewer rehab. Dorsey said that a long-term slight increase each year would have been better, but the council if faced with a “nitty-gritty choice” and had to take action.