Water rate increases could be coming for Madison County

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- Water projects are everywhere you look in Madison County. The Madison County Commission is trying to update the water system in the area, but in order to that it might mean some rate increases in the coming days.

The Madison County Commission members said they are working on solving a bunch of issues with water lines in the area that are outdated.

"Be sure that we've got cost-effective pricing for our water to our customers. Be sure that we've got abundant water, and that we've got quality water. That's the big three things that we've got to do," explained Chairman Dale Strong.

Strong said they're looking further than just the next ten years.

"We've got more than 10 million dollars worth of water upgrades that are occurring. It's been beneficial to this point, now what we're doing is going even further," he said.

He said they want to make sure the water system is solid for whomever is living in Madison County down the line.

"We've also approved to put some 17 thousand new meters in. We've got meters that are thirty years old. They're not metering appropriately," said Strong.

He said water production costs are more expensive than ever. The county purchases two million gallons a year. Strong said a water rate increase is likely in the near future.

"That what it costs to produce the water we want to be sure that we're charging the right rates. Rather than every ten years having a large increase, let's do it annually and say that this is what our cost is," he explained.

He said they will know how much those increases might be in the next month or two.

Chairman Strong said at one point, the county went ten years without a water rate increase. He said since the inception of the water department, there's only been two or three rate increases.