Limestone County Residents to pay more for water

By Bobby Shuttleworth - Bio | Email
Posted by Dana Franks - Email

ATHENS, AL (WAFF) - If you're a resident of Limestone County and you're on the authority's water, you're going to be paying more for it, according to interium General Manager, Tammy Smith, "The minimum bill for the residential customers will be going from $17.03 to $20.  That's the minimum bill."

And that doesn't sit well with some customers like Bonnie Hamric, "I'm paying $17.71 for just the meter rent, no water, because I'm on well water and I use only well water until the power goes out and then I switch to the county water. So, I really don't see why it's going to go up, for just the meter rent."

It's a combination of factors, according to Smith, including a lack of new home connections.

"The tap fee is when a new home is being built, they come in and pay for a new meter and that's what a tap fee is and with the housing market slowing down we've seen a tremendous decrease in that revenue."

And she says their utility bills are up $15,000 dollars a month,  "A bond rate maintenance test is something set in our bond indentures when we borrow money and revenue has to be a certain percent of our annual debt service, and they use a formula looking at our net income and determine whether we met that percentage."

Smith says they failed it twice, which will cost the authority.  They have no choice but to pass along those costs.

Hamric still doesn't like it, "I think that's an awful lot to $20 just to have a meter and without any usage at all."

This new rate increase should average to about 11 percent.