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Warren County residents oppose proposed water rate increase

Posted June 26, 2012
Updated June 27, 2012

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— Residents of Warren and Northampton counties who get their water from a private provider spoke out Tuesday evening against a proposal that would nearly triple their water bills.

Water Company Aqua North Carolina is looking to buy the current water company that provides water service to this area. The North Carolina Utilities Commission held a public hearing in Warrenton to hear objections to the increases planned by Aqua North Carolina that would increase monthly charges from an average $7 per month to more than $17 per month.

Monthly usage charges per thousand gallons would go from $1.50 per month to $5.03 per month.

Water rates in the counties haven't gone up since 1989.

Residents said they are concerned because many customers are retired and are living on a fixed income.

But Aqua North Carolina President Thomas Roberts said the area's rates are among the lowest in the state and that the service that customers currently receive reflects that.

Water employees say there has been very little maintenance to the existing infrastructure. Roberts said the increase would help pay for new infrastructure and better service.

"It's a 270 percent (increase) on a rate increase that hasn't happened since 1989," Roberts said. "It's the same rate the people of Wake County or the people of Mecklenburg County are paying."

The utilities commission is expected to make a decision in August.

14 Comments

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  • belovedsparrow Jun 28, 2012

    For all those out there with their ugly comments about people "whining" about rate increases. Why don't you just worry about your water bill and let them worry about theirs. If they want to "whine" then that is every bit their right. It seems to be your right to "whine" about them "whining".
    Clearly this isn't really something that has any bearing on your life so go worry about something that does.

  • superman Jun 28, 2012

    I have a well and septic tank and believe me that aint cheap either. I just had a new well pump installed and it was almost $3,000. We also have a lot of iron in the water and a new filtering system was another 2,000. The filter uses two bags of salt a month and that is another 15.00 a month. And may I also say I am retired and live on a fixed income! 5k would go a long way toward paying a 20.00 a month water bill. And dont forget the septic tank another 200.00 every 5 years to get it pumped out. Do I really have to tell you nothing is cheap? Our water has nasty iron that stains plumbing clothing and everything it touches.

  • oleguy Jun 27, 2012

    15.00 a month for water sounds great, where do I sign,,,

  • roaddog3 Jun 27, 2012

    SOMEONE HAS TO PAY FOR THE NON TAXPAYERS

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Jun 27, 2012

    I would MUCH rather have a well & septic tank than be made to drink some ol chemical filled city water or pay to flush my toilet. No way no how not ever do I want to depend on and have to pay for something that I have plenty of, for free, right in my ground.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 27, 2012

    "Privitization of the water supply is a scam and one of the worst things to happen to homeowners over the past couple decades."

    No greater scam than Government charging taxes and then on top of that charging you money for basic services like water and sewer. I have the best water and sewer. It only cost me the price of electricity used by the water pump.

  • mvenable Jun 27, 2012

    If these folks let Aqua America in they'd better be prepared for never ending rate increases. That's one of the worst companies I've ever dealt with. My water bill is around $90/month for an average of 1500 gallons/month. The sewer charge is well over $60 flat rate. Privitization of the water supply is a scam and one of the worst things to happen to homeowners over the past couple decades.

  • tharris4 Jun 27, 2012

    Well, I am real glad your wife didn't have a cow!! It has been very stressful in our office today with all of the angry customers calling us. Your comment brought a smile to my face! I will share your story with the others who have been "blasted" over the phone this morning. Tell your wife she can settle down now!! LOL! :)

  • corncop Jun 27, 2012

    THANK YOU tharris4 for clarifying this issue! We are on Warren public water and my wife about had a cow! She has driven me crazy since early this am about the outlandish increase and telling me to get the well ready so we can switch back. She also had a comment prepared, most of which was not fit to print! WRAL--You need to correct this story both online and in your broadcast news.

  • s.wake.co Jun 27, 2012

    piene2 - couldn't have said it better. The affected residents should also be thankful there is a Utilities Law that prohibits retroactive ratemaking meaning that even if they wanted to, the Commission cannot grant rate increases to utilities to cover past losses.

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