MAYFLOWER — Sewer rates will rise by 52 percent over the next three years in Mayflower to help fund a $5 million capital improvement project to make ADEQ-required repairs to the city’s wastewater treatment facility.
The Mayflower City Council was tasked last month with determining whether it would raise all water customers’ bills by 12 percent over a three-year period or raise all sanitary sewer rates by 52 percent over a three-year period.
Aldermen indicated during the city’s June city council meeting that they favored raising rates only for sewer customers. The rate raise was approved during the council’s regularly-scheduled meeting Tuesday evening.
A public hearing regarding the issue was scheduled for one hour prior to the 7 p.m. council meeting. The hearing was called off shortly after 6 p.m. due to a lack of attendance both from the public and on the Mayflower City Council’s side. Only one city council member, Alderman Will Elder, was present for what would have been the public hearing regarding the rate increase proposal.
The full quorum unanimously favored raising sewer rates during the Mayflower City Council’s meeting in June. However, it passed with very few votes during the July meeting.
The rate increase was approved 3-1, with Alderman Jennifer Massey voting against the proposal. Aldermen Andrew Pelkey and Stacin Dawson were absent.
Mayor Randy Holland advocated his support of the rate increase during the meeting.
Last month, Holland said the average sewer bill would increase by $16.47 over the next three years. This projection was based on a 4,000 gallons/month usage.
Residents will see the first rate increase in September. The $5.38-rate increase would make the average pill (based on a 4,000 gallon per month usage) $74.08 and bring in $83,340 over a one-year period to be used toward the city’s bond payments.
Rates will go up another $6.45 per 1,000 gallons in September 2021, which would make the average customer’s bill $80.53. The final increase of 12 percent would be applied in September 2022. This increase would be $4.64 and make the average bill cost $85.17.
Customers who live outside city limits will see an increase of $6.38 per 1,000 gallons following the first 20 percent rate increase. In September 2021, outside customer rates will go up by $7.65, making the average bill cost $87.73. The final 12 percent increase for outside customers will show another $5.51 rate increase for each 1,000 gallons. The final increase four outside customers will also be imposed in September 2022.
It should take the city 30 years to pay back the $5 million bond debt with the proposed rate increases.
In other business, the Mayflower City Council voted 4-0 in favor of imposing restrictions on mobile homes within city limits.
The city will only allow residents to bring mobile homes into the city if the residence was built within the last five years. Other restrictions, which immediately took effect Tuesday night, require the home to be built onto a foundation and that there be steps leading to all exterior doors.
Alderman Mark Hickman asked if it would be possible to ban any other mobile homes from being placed within the city (other than in a mobile home park). This particular issue was not voted on Tuesday night. However, sitting-in city attorney Dustin Chapman said he would research the legality matter prior to the council’s August meeting.