| By Jason C. Mattox
Residents in the City of Sardis should be prepared for an increase in their water bill beginning in October, although the exact amount is not yet known.
City Clerk Odessa Johnson said at a budget hearing Monday that the city needed to generate a total of $45,000 from the water fund during the upcoming year.
"It doesn’t match the percent of increase we were advised to make, but it is a number that I believe is fair," she said referring to percentages recommended by Tom Abernathy of Mississippi Rural Water Association.
The city’s present water rate is a base of $12.55 per month and $3 for each 1,000 additional gallons.
Alderman-at-Large Roy Scallorn asked Johnson if she had plugged any figures into the computer program left by Abernathy last week to provide solid projections.
"I have not had time this week," she replied.
Scallorn said he knows the city has several "stuck" water meters.
"We know we have some stuck water meters out there," he said. "So, if we just go up on the overage we won’t see any additional revenue.
"We need to see an increase that is fair to all of the people in the city," Scallorn added.
Scallorn suggested increasing water rates to generate $60,000 in revenue.
"We don’t ever know when we are going to need to repair or replace a well, and we are going to need to have some money tucked away for a rainy day," he said.
The most likely scenario Scallorn suggested would increase the base bill to $14 for water ($7 for sewer) and overage to $4.20 per 1,000 gallons.
That would make the average bill in the city limits $34.18 from approximately $26.
"I don’t suggest going with a higher number because you do have some of our residents who are on a fixed income, and we don’t want to be hard on them," he said. "An increase of around $8 per month is a figure that everyone can handle."
There will be no increase in garbage collection fees during the coming year.
The water rate increase was scheduled to be voted on last night.
| In other board business:
||Aldermen determined there would be no across the board pay increase for city employees. Individual pay increases will be at the discretion of the board.