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New water, sewer rates come up for hearing at hearing

SoVaNow.com / December 20, 2012
The Halifax County Service Authority will hold a public hearing tonight, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. to consider changes in water/sewer rates for the coming year. The hearing will take place at the Authority’s building on Houghton Avenue in the South Boston Industrial Park.

The proposed changes will bring the authority closer to charging equal rates among all water and sewer customers, according to HSCA Executive Director Willie Jones.

The rate structure represents something of a mixed bag for HCSA customers — some would pay more for water and sewer, and some would pay less, depending on area and quantity of usage.

Residents of the Town of South Boston who consume up to 24,000 gallons of water will see costs go up by five cents per 1,000 gallons, with the rate going from $4.25 to $4.30. Sewer rates will remain the same: $5.25 per 1,000 gallons for customers who consume 24,000 gallons of water or less. Larger volume users will see a greater increase — 25 cents more per 1,000 gallons — in water rates

Out of town South Boston residents who use 24,000 gallons or less will see their water bills drop slighly under the new rate schedule. Their rate will go down by 15 cents, from $5.25 to $5.l0. Sewer rates will remain steady at $5.25 per 1,000 gallons.

Residential users in the Town of Halifax who consume between 7,000 and 24,000 gallons will see their water rate drop by five cents per 1,000 gallons, to $4.50 from the current $4.55. Customers who consume less than 7,000 gallons of water will see their rate go up by five cents, to $4.30 per thousand gallons. Sewer rates for Halifax customers will remain at $5.25.

Rates for all Riverdale water customers will decrease by five cents (from $4.75 to $4.70 per thousand gallons) except for large volume customers (500,000 gallons) who will see a rate drop of ten cents.

Riverdale sewer rates will remain steady at $5.25 per thousand, except for users of over 500,000 gallons who will pay an additional ten cents per thousand gallons.

Clover water customers will see the biggest drop in water rates — users of 24,000 gallons or less will pay $5.10 per thousand gallons, rather than the current $6.00 rate. However, sewer rates in Clover will increase by 40 cents per thousand, going from the current $6.35 to $6.75 for users of 24,000 gallons or less. Larger customers will see their sewer rate increase by only 25 cents per thousand.

Customers at VIR will be subject to the biggest jumps in both water and sewer rates, with both increasing by $1.75 per thousand gallons. Rates will go from $8 to $9.75 per thousand gallons for both water and sewer.

Jones explained that the 22 percent hike in VIR water and sewer rates is necessary to cover the rising cost of sewage treatment by Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville. VIR receives utility services from both Halifax and Pittsylvania counties. Jones noted that an earlier agreement between HCSA and Pittsylvania County and Danville, which resulted in lower charges at the racetrack complex, has now expired and the costs have returned to previous levels.

Another change that will come up at the public hearing is a steeper deposit for water-sewer customers who are seeking new service. The mandatory deposit for water customers — $50 — is slated to rise to $101. The sewer deposit will go from $80 to $101, bringing the total deposit for new water-service customers to $202.

If approved by the Board of Directors following the public hearing, the new rates will become effective with bills sent out after January 1, 2013.

Directors will begin their regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m., one hour prior to the public hearing period. Following the hearing, they will review their pay and promotion plans for employees.

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