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Raleigh to phase in higher water rates

Posted April 27, 2009

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— The City Council voted Monday to phase in higher rates for customers on the municipal water system, with a 9 percent increase taking effect Friday.

The average residential customer will see the monthly water bill increase from $29.69 to $32.36, officials said.

The increase is needed because the city is selling less water and making less money because of the economic downturn and because area residents adapted to the conservation measures officials urged during North Carolina's record-setting drought in 2007-08.

An internal accounting error also contributed to a $13 million deficit in the city's Public Utilities Department budget, officials said. Some of the increase also will pay for a new water treatment plant scheduled to open this year.

Water customers will face a second increase in December, when the city adopts a three-tier rate structure to charge heavy users more.

The bottom residential tier would be for customers who use less than 3,000 gallons a month, while the second tier would be for those who use between 3,000 and 7,500 gallons. The top tier would include anyone using more than 7,500 gallons a month.

The city would charge Tier 1 customers $2.80 each every 1,000 gallons, while Tier 2 customers would pay $4.15 and Tier 3 customers would pay $5.50 per 1,000 gallons.

City Council members rejected a proposed one-time, 17 percent increase, saying they didn't want customers to be hit with such a large change in their bills all at once during tight economic times.

City Manager Russell Allen said the two increases combined would end up being more than 17 percent because the city needs to recoup the money lost by delaying part of the increase by seven months.

Under the phased increase the average residential customer's monthly bill will increase to $36.84 a month, a 24 percent increase over the current amount, officials said.

Councilmen Thomas Crowder and Philip Isley voted against the rate increase. Isley said he doesn't like the proposed tiered-rate system.

Even with the increase, Raleigh's water rates will remain among the lowest in the Triangle.


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  • nursevb8 Apr 28, 2009

    Well, I have a Raleigh address but not in the city limits so I get Aqua NC. There's just me and my water bill runs $70-$75 EVERY month. But don't worry, when the city rates go up, you can rest assured all other companies will follow suit also. Did everyone know that while we conserved and conserved, the people who violated and were fined, that $$ went to the school fund. It should have went to the utilities and maybe the rates wouldn't go up for us doing such a good job. Let's see how many people put forth an effort for the next drought.

  • Supie Apr 28, 2009

    it doesn't make sense that there is a 17% increase to cover past costs that were "one-time" costs. The increase goes on and on. "One time" costs are reimbursed by one-time assessments. How stupid do they think we are?

  • ifcdirector Apr 28, 2009

    Isn't it amazing how people who vote for democrats have that extra money to burn each month just to make themselves feel better and more nannied over?

  • daisymom Apr 28, 2009

    Am so glad I don't live in Raleigh. Residents were urged to conserve water, conserve, conserve, conserve. & you did and now they don't have enough money so going to raise rates! I would be so mad! I think you are getting a raw deal!

  • kaylemoine Apr 28, 2009

    Thanks for rewarding the citizens of Raleigh for being so co-operative during the drought last year. A rate increase. Don't ever ask again. Of course, this is the ideal time to do this. Just as state, and feceral taxes are going up and people are getting their pay cut. I know how you can save money - get rid of recycling. What about the tourest bus that is supposed to be driving around downtown. Wonder how much that costs? So much wasted money.

  • donnied1952 Apr 28, 2009

    The only people with the $30.00 water bill are the ones getting the welfare checks and help with paying those water bills.

  • ShareTheRoad Apr 28, 2009

    who are these average families with the $30 water bills? i have myself and two small kids at our house. we do laundry twice a week, dont water the lawn, dont play in sprinklers, no kiddie pools to fill up, and no washing of vehicles going on. heck, due to the age of my kids, they dont even shower on a daily basis, only every 2 days unless they are unusually grubby, and we still have a $70 water bill every month.

  • Stringbean Apr 28, 2009

    Save water= higher rate's......soooo what does that tell you the next time they want us to save water?.How about doing what my self and my famley does . . try cutting cost's and over head.

  • ccacrabbitdog Apr 28, 2009

    i'm not a raleigh resident...but if i was, i would move...how about u people at city hall learn to do with less like the rest of us.....this country is slowly but surely turning into a russia........

  • Nobody but Carolina Apr 28, 2009

    "Wow some of the reasons cited for the increase would be hard to swallow if I were a Raleigh resident."

    ...and a bit harder for those of us living in smaller towns in Wake County without enough population to be reasonable to have our own Water Division and are on Raleigh's system with rates that are higher than Raleigh's as it is. :(