New Sewer Rates Based On Cost Of Living
The Mercer County Fiscal Court gave first reading to an amended sewer fee ordinance. If enacted, the ordinance would allow the Mercer County Sanitation District to increase sewer fees based on the consumer price index, among other indices compiled by the federal government.
In June, the Harrodsburg City Commission also approved ordinances to increase sewer and water rates based on consumer price index. Larry Catlett, the attorney for the sanitation district, said they had received notice from Harrodsburg that sewer rates were being increased by more than 40 percent.
“That’s necessitated an increase—it’s kind of significant—in the rates,” Catlett told the fiscal court on Tuesday, Nov. 29. “We can’t absorb all these expenses.”
If passed, the ordinance would allow the sanitation district to make an annual adjustment to sewer rates every year. The new rates would go into effect on July 1.
Catlett said the new minimum sewer rate per 2,000 gallons would go from $32 to $37.60. He said Mike Sanford, the executive director for the sanitation district, worked the numbers to make sure they are as low and as accurate as possible. While they are not regulated by the Kentucky Public Service Commission, they used methods approved by the Public Service Commission to calculate the rates. Sanford said even with new rates they were “break even.”
The sanitation district is a nonprofit organization that is currently operating with a $52,000 deficit. Catlett and Sanford said the district can’t absorb any surprises. If the rates are not increased, Sanford said the fiscal court might have to take over .
“You will end up running the sanitation district,” Sanford said.
He said some years there would be practically no raises depending on the economy. Sanford noted that the inflation was more than 9 percent this past year. The ordinance would have no impact on the county’s budget.
Judge-Executive Scott Moseley noted the sanitation district was running on a $52,000 deficit. Moseley recommended the fiscal court make a contribution. He said he would find the funding “somewhere.”
“That is something I’d like you all to think about,” Moseley said.
The next meeting of the Mercer County Fiscal Court will be Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m.
• The Mercer-Boyle County Joint Jail Committee will meet on Friday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m. at the Boyle County Fiscal Courthouse.
• On Wednesday, Dec. 7, there will be a retirement party for Magistrate Wayne Jackson, who did not run for re-election this year, starting at 2 p.m. at the Mercer County Fiscal Courthouse (207 West Lexington Street).