Possible water rate increase in Salyersville

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

The mayor says the Salyersville Water Treatment Plant is still more than $100,000 in debt!
City council members are looking for ways to make-up the deficit and say a water rate increase is possible.

The cost of water in Salyersville keeps going up but officials say no new revenue is coming in.
Last year the facility was more than $200,000 in debt. Right now, the mayor says it is still $180,000 in the red and on pace to lose another $150,000 this year.
"We tried to save money, cut things, and do all this, and we're still going in the hole quite a bit," said Salyersville Mayor James "Pete" Shepherd.

Mayor Shepherd, who just took office last year, says they have to find a way to pay off the current debt and stop losing money. He says customers might have to help. A rate increase is needed to help make-up the deficit.
"It's going to have to be done. It's not been done in ten years, and if the people want good, clean water and sewer plant that runs efficiently, we're going to have to have a rate increase," said Shepherd.

Some customers think that is unfair.
"Not to compensate for what they done wrong, you know what I'm saying. We did nothing wrong, so we shouldn't have to pay for their mistakes," said James Morrison who is a water customer.

The mayor says the state wants an eight to nine dollar increase, but he wants try to keep it around four to five dollars.

"A few dollars would make a huge difference. It means a lot more work for me. I'm already facing huge water bills anyway," said Morrison.

"We're going to do everything we can to keep our rates low, but it's going to take a while to get everything running efficiently," said Shepherd.

City Council is also considering letting private company UMG run the plant until they get back in black.

The city council has a special-called meeting on Monday at 7:00 to discuss the options.
The council members are also requesting the State Auditor's office look at the Salyersville Water Treatment Plant's books to figure out how it got so far in debt.

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