HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Huntsville City Council held its first meeting of September on Thursday.
The city council was supposed to vote on both a water rate increase for Huntsville Utility (HU) customers to a proposed hands-free driving ordinance. However, one of these topics was delayed until the next council meeting.
In one of the more lengthy meetings of the year, the city council also introduced a new budget for the upcoming fiscal year, but it was the two previously mentioned, heavily anticipated decisions that took center stage.
Council members first voted in favor of a water rate increase, meaning HU customers are set to see an estimated $4 added to their monthly water bills. The altered projection is down from the original proposal which would have been around $6 more per month for the average household.
The hands-free driving ordinance, if passed, it would strengthen the state’s law that restrict the use of cell phones while driving. However, the vote on the hands-free ordinance was postponed until the next city council meeting.
Huntsville City Council member David Little says the water rate increase needed to be done and was long overdue.
“This will allow us to keep up with our infrastructure and to expand it we’ve got a growing population more developments more houses getting built apartments obviously everybody knows about and their going to all need water,” Little told News 19.
Little said the hike will save people money in the long run, something that was echoed by Huntsville Utilities. The company said it does not expect another rate increase for at least the next 5 years.
HU says the water rate increase could go into effect as soon as November.
As for the hands-free ordinance, city leaders are expected to vote on that during the September 28th council meeting. The upcoming fiscal year budget will officially be introduced during that meeting as well, and could also be voted on by council members.