Water rate hike could be coming

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Thousands of people in Martin County could soon be paying more for water.

Martin County Water District officials are proposing to increase rates nearly 16 percent.

Martin County Water District officials say they need the rate increase to make repairs and improve service for customers.

Ella Farley says she pays around 34 dollars a month for water. She is upset she might have to pay more.

“I think it's a bunch of malarkey,” Farley said.

Martin County Water District Officials say they have no choice but to raise rates, saying 40 year old water lines are leaking and causing service problems.

“Those are in need of repair and it takes money to be able to find the leaks, repair the leaks, and bring our water loss down,” Joe Hammond said.

Hammond says water districts own electric and utility bills are also going up and straining the budget.

He says a Public Service Commission audit recommended the nearly 16 percent rate increase.

Hammond believes paying more will benefit all of the 3,500 customers down the road.

Still it is no consolation to Farley who says it will pinch her pocketbook.

“It'll hurt definitely because everything else is going up too, all of our utilities. It will be hard on all of us,” Farley said.

Hammond says the PSC is reviewing the request. If approved, the increase will go into effect in two to three months.

Any customers who want to comment on the proposed rate increase can submit those to the PSC.

Water district officials say they have made seven and a half million dollars of upgrades in the past few years.

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