Higher Rates Likely For Spartanburg Water Customers - WSPA.com

Higher Rates Likely For Spartanburg Water Customers

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

Spartanburg Water System began reviewing its budget options Wednesday and it claims to have no choice but to hike your rates.

Customers have started to notice a trend, this would be the sixth consecutive year with a rate increase.

Spartanburg Water says it isn't not making as much money, because water usage is down.

Plus its plants, reservoirs and more than 1,000 miles of pipe need constant work.

"That is really expensive to maintain," Deputy General Manager Rebecca West said.

Water staff presented budget projections at a work session Wednesday.

Residential customers in the city are looking at about a 14 percent increase, about $35 more per year for a typical household.

Homeowners outside the city limits will pay even more, about $60 dollars.

Commercial and industrial customers also face steep increases.

"We have made cuts, over the past five years, we have deferred approximately $13 million worth of projects that were scheduled to be completed," West said.

The system faces rising costs on everything from employee benefits to chemicals used to treat the water.

"We don't receive taxes, or any other types of grants or funding from other entities," West said.

Another wrinkle in all this is the fight with the city of Spartanburg over a transfer of $1.4 million from the water system.

There is no agreement for that yearly payment to continue.

But the water commission has made a new, smaller offer and it's included in this rate proposal.

West said it is making up 30 percent of the need for an increase.

The water system will post its budget proposal on its web site.

You can give them feedback there.

The budget will likely be finalized in late June and take effect Aug 1.

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