The city of Palestine announced, effective Oct. 1, 2013, changes to the city utility rates have been implemented and were seen on bills mailed out beginning on Nov. 12 with due dates of Dec. 1 and later.
"Over the last several years, the city has worked to keep utility rates as low as possible,” Palestine City Manager Wendy Ellis stated. “We had reached the point where the cost of providing those services was going to exceed revenue generated in this budget year by a significant amount, and the Council found themselves having to make a tough decision
“They worked diligently to minimize the impact as much as they could and still generate enough revenue to cover operating expenses and begin funding necessary capital improvements that have long been in need of repair."
The ¾” meter charge was reduced to $6 for residential customers inside the city limits and to $7.50 for residential customers outside the city limits. ¾” meters for sprinklers will remain at $9 for customers inside the city limits and $11.25 for customers outside the city limits.
The changes will affect minimum usage calculations for water, the price per thousand gallons, sewer surcharge, and solid waste rates. Sewer usage rates were not changed, but the sewer surcharge which is used to pay debt service for on-going capital improvements to the system and is based on per thousand gallon usage was increased to fully cover the existing debt.
Minimum usage has dropped from 3,000 gallons to 2,000 gallons on all accounts.
The Residential base rate for water for 2,000 gallons is now $6 and $3.52 per thousand gallons up to 20,000 gallons. Residential customers using more than 20,000 gallons will now pay $4.31 per thousand gallons.
The Commercial base rate for water for 2,000 gallons is now $6 and $3.76 per thousand over the minimum up to 20,000 gallons. Commercial customers will now pay $4.49 for all gallons per thousand more than 20,000.
The Residential base rate for sewer surcharge for 2,000 gallons is now $8.92 and $2 per thousand over the minimum. Commercial base rate for sewer surcharge for 2,000 gallons is $6.75 and $2 per thousand over the minimum.
Solid Waste will increase to $18.32 for each residential customer and $38.83 for each commercial customer. This new rate reflects an increase imposed by the city contractor, Progressive Waste Management, and operational expenses for the city.
All residential and commercial customers outside the city limits will be charged at a rate that is 1.25 times the rates set for residential and commercial customers inside the city limits.