HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Huntsville Utilities held a public meeting Tuesday to discuss a proposed water rate increase scheduled to take effect in January, but only a handful of customers showed up to listen to the proposal.
The meeting held in the Huntsville City Council Chambers. The six water customers who did attend the meeting came with grievances about the proposal and the apparent lack of notice about the meeting.
Huntsville Utility CEO William C. Pippin apologized to the customers and said they will do better in the future to make sure all of their customers are made aware of future possible rate increases.
Over the next four years, average residential customers will see their bills go up by $9.71 per month. The first increase will be $3.19 per month for the average residence. Huntsville Utilities says the average water customer uses approximately 8,000 gallons of water per month.The money will be used to fund construction of a new water treatment facility on the Tennessee River. The facility is currently under design, and will cost an estimated $100 million.
"Huntsville Utilities has a long history of providing high quality water service while maintaining very low rates," said utility spokesman Bill Yell. "Even after these increases, our rates will remain the lowest or second lowest only to Decatur, in our region."
The last time Huntsville Utilities raised water rates was in 2008.
Huntsville Utilities will also present its plan for the water rate increase to the City Council on Thursday, December 13.