Brewton raises sewer rates

Published 10:11 pm Monday, April 22, 2013

After discussing the issue for several weeks, Brewton City Council members on Monday voted to raise the city’s sewer rates.

The increase will help pay for needed improvements for the city’s sewer system.

Current rates — $9 for basic service plus 75 cents per 1,000 gallons — would go to up $15 for basic service plus $2 per 1,000 gallons, effective May 1. The city’s current rates are the lowest in the region.

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City officials have said many one- or two-person households in the city use under 1,000 gallons and thus pay only the basic rate.

The sewer rate increase is part of a larger plan that includes a sewer bond refinancing, a move intended to free up more money for improvements, new projects and matching money for potential grants.

The council on Monday also approved a resolution to begin talks to refinance the sewer bond issue. City Clerk John Angel said the rate increase was needed this week so that the city could show it has a way to pay back the bond issue.

Mayor Yank Lovelace pointed out that the city is bearing some of the brunt of the cost of improvements to the sewer system.

“The city is still supplementing the cost by $200,000 to keep our rates down,” he said.