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Water rate increases OK’d on second reading

The Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved an ordinance on second reading Monday night to adopt three water rate increases over the next decade.

Board members OK’d the schedule of rates during their regularly scheduled semi-monthly meeting at the request of Jane Bevill, the town’s finance director.

The town approved a contract earlier this year with CDM Smith to provide a water and sewer rate study update.

The ordinance approved Monday night changes the previous rate schedule, which included a $2.30 increase in 2013.

Bevill said the new rate schedule will include increases in 2014, 2017 and 2020 for $1.50, 95 cents and $1.05, respectively.

Alderman Billy Patton, who voted against the ordinance, told board members he didn’t agree with the rate study.

“I didn’t like it when the rate study came back with some small increases,” he said.

Patton said the board could avoid the increases with a reduction in administrative charges.

“We can reduce the amount of charge-backs in order to make it so there are no rate increases,” he said.

Bevill said the rates are lower than she anticipated.

“I looked at the rates that were originally adopted in 2005,” Bevill said, “and those rates that we had expected to be in place by 2013 were a lot larger than what we have here.”

Mayor Stan Joyner called the future rate increases “adequate” and “fair.”

“This is the third time we’ve had (CDM Smith) come back and check the numbers to see if we are charging an adequate rate that is fair to the customers,” Joyner said. “At the end of the day, you have to pay for what it costs to run the utility.”

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