Heath Springs to raise water, sewer rates

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Final reading of 2013-14 budget comes next week

By Jesef Williams

HEATH SPRINGS – Heath Springs residents will likely pay a few more dollars each month for their water.

The $2 minimum increase in the water rate is part of the town’s proposed budget for 2013-14. There is also a proposed $2 minimum increase for the sewer rate.

Heath Springs Town Council approved first reading of the budget during a May 28 meeting at Town Hall.

That was a make-up for the May 21 meeting, which didn’t happen because a quorum wasn’t present.

The May 28 vote was 4-0, as Councilman Ted Sowell was again absent for health-related reasons.

The minimum monthly costs for water and sewer will each go from $20 to $22 (for the customer’s first 3,000 gallons used). 

After that, it will cost $5 (and no longer $4) for each additional 1,000 gallons used.

Heath Springs Town Administrator Tony Starnes said those changes are expected to generate an additional $13,000 for the town. About $9,000 of that will be from water fees.

Those revenues are part of the water and sewer fund, which is one of two town funds. The general fund is the other.

Overall, the proposed 2013-14 budget is $596,175. The town doesn’t collect property taxes, meaning that its revenue comes from other sources such as business license fees and sales tax receipts.

Final reading of the budget is expected to come during the Heath Springs Town Council meeting on Tuesday, June 18.

Also at the May 28 meeting, Town Council: 

– Unanimously approved final reading of the town’s anti-smoking ordinance that mirrors that of Lancaster County, which took effect earlier this year. The ordinance bans smoking in restaurants and other public-access places.

– Met in closed session to discuss what was listed on the meeting agenda as a contractual matter regarding maintenance and repair of water and sewer lines. 

No action was taken on the matter when council returned to open session.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152