Some South Hall residents are frustrated that county commissioners have yet to set new sewer rates after almost a year of study.
After the commissioners voted to extend current rates through February at Thursday’s meeting, Phyllis Mercer, a resident of Village at Deaton Creek, told the commission that residents believed it had had enough time to make a decision on rates.
“Our expectation was that months ago you would have finalized any needed study and action and have presented us a rate structure that was fair and equitable,” Mercer said Thursday. “Instead, tonight’s consent agenda moved this proposal into February.”
Residents protested in late 2008 after a proposed fee schedule would have doubled sewer rates for residents in the Sterling on the Lake, Village at Deaton Creek and Reunion communities. The change would have meant going from a flat rate to one based on usage at $9.87 per 100 cubic feet.
In January, the commission voted to maintain the current rate structure of $42 per month through the end of 2009.
Public Works Director Ken Rearden said the county will likely present the findings of its study on sewage fees next month, pending any changes requested by the commission.
“We’re not really ready to start discussing this,” Rearden said.
Rearden said operational costs, maintenance and debt all play into the county’s efforts to reduce sewer rates.
“All those factors are put into this study in calculating the rate,” Rearden said. “Our goal is to make these rates cheaper than they are at this time.”
Currently, the three subdivisions are the only users of the South Hall sewer system.
“At some point they need to figure out a way that more than 1,800 (residents) pay for this,” Mercer said.