Winston-Salem approves water and sewer rate increase

water kitchen sink generic

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Water and Sewer rates are about to increase in the Winston-Salem area.

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission approved increases Monday in water and sewer rates, utility service base charges and disposal rates at yard waste facilities and the construction and demolition landfill to support its $85.4 million budget for fiscal year 2014-2015.

The new rates will take effect Oct. 1.

The commission approved a 4.5 percent increase in water rates and a 6.7 percent increase in sewer rates.

The monthly base charges for water and sewer service would increase $1.24.

With the increases, the monthly bill for the average household in Winston-Salem using 4,500 gallons of water will be $39.44 or $1.30 a day, or 10 cents more a day than the $1.20 that the average household currently pays.

The table below shows how the changes will affect various customers after Oct 1.

table

Despite the increase, Utilities Director Ron Hargrove noted that Winston-Salem continues to offer competitive water and sewer rates when compared to North Carolina’s largest cities.

Next year the estimated average monthly water and sewer bill with a consumption of 4,500 gallons will be $38.48 in Greensboro, $56.90 in Raleigh, $51.44 in Durham, and $49.66 in Charlotte.

Hargrove noted that most of the rate increase is needed to cover the cost of capital improvements to maintain the utilities system.

Customers will continue to be rewarded for their efforts to reduce their water usage.

The disposal rate at the Hanes Mill Road Landfill will remain unchanged at $34 per ton.

The disposal rate at the Old Salisbury Road landfill for construction and demolition debris will be $29 a ton, a $1 increase.

These rates do not include the $2 per ton North Carolina disposal tax collected at Hanes Mill Road and Old Salisbury Road.

Rates at the Overdale Road and Forum 52 yard-waste facilities will be $30 a ton, a $1 increase.

The rate increases are contained in the $85.4 million operating budget the commission recommended for fiscal year 2014-2015. The budget includes $42.1 million for operating costs and $43.3 million debt service for revenue bonds.

As of June 30, 2014, the total outstanding revenue bond debt will be $461,890,000.

Based on its bond ratings, operating record, rate structure, and supply of raw water, the water and sewer system operated by the Utility Commission continues to be one of the most economical systems in North Carolina.