Mercer Sanitation District OKs New Sewer Rates

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

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The Mercer County Sanitation District has approved a new rate structure that would provide relief for a majority of their customers.

At their meeting last Thursday, the board of directors selected a new rate structure that would reduce the bill for customers using less than 2,000 gallons a month by $8, according to figures the district provided.

The change will impact 39 percent of the sanitation district’s customer base.

The bills for those using between 2,000 and 3,999 gallons per month would be reduced by about $3.70 a month. That will impact 37 percent of the sanitation district’s customer base.

Customers using more will pay more. Those using between 4,000 and 5,999 gallons per month will pay as much as $15.40 more per month. That impacts 16 percent of the sanitation district’s customer base.

Some Burgin residents have been complaining about the $40 per month minimum bill since the sewer system’s construction. The rate reduction applies to all of the sanitation district’s customers, not just to Burgin users.

The rates are based on repaying the $9.2 million funding package to the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development, USDA Rural Development and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. Both the federal government and the Mercer County Fiscal Court will have to approve the rate change before it goes into effect.

The sanitation district’s attorney, Larry Catlett, said it might take about six weeks before they gain the necessary approval.

Approximately 76 percent of the sanitation district’s customers could see a reduction in their monthly bills when the rate change goes into effect. On Thursday, James Dunn, chairman of the sanitation district’s board of directors, said not everyone would be happy with their new water bills.

“There are going to be some folks who might be at $40 now might get kicked up a little bit if they use more than the minimum,” Dunn said. However, he moved to begin the process.

“We can’t please 100 percent of the people,” Dunn said.

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