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Section A: General News


Maintenance, expansion cost at heart of Floresville rate hikes


Maintenance, expansion cost at heart of Floresville rate hikes
Laura Feagins


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Wilson County News
May 1, 2013
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FLORESVILLE -- Come July, water and sewer customers here will notice that it costs more to water the grass or to flush the toilet, following the Floresville City Council’s unanimous decision April 25 to raise rates on both of those services.

The new rates will apply to bills due July 10. For residential water, the base rate of $13.50 for the first 3,000 gallons used will increase to $16.50. Commercial water customers, who previously paid the same rate as household users, now will be charged a base rate of $33.

The flat rate for residential wastewater will increase at a similar rate. Commercial sewer customers will be charged $33 for the first 10,000 gallons pumped.

The council’s vote comes on the heels of a rate study performed by Raul Gonzalez of the Community Resource Group, who concluded that the city’s ability to maintain its water and wastewater systems under the former rate structure was rapidly decreasing.

“You’re basically limping along,” said Floresville City Comptroller Lara Feagins.

In addition to lacking its own ability to pay for future expansion, Feagins said Floresville’s previous rate structure made it ineligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture grants and loans, because the city had no visible means to maintain the improvements the funds would have financed.

The full text of the new rate ordinance is available with this story at wilsoncountynews.com. (See PDF download above)

Also during the meeting, the council voted to approve matching funds for the 2013 Summer Youth Grant from the Floresville Electric Light & Power System. The utility will pay the city up to $2 per electrical meter located within the city limits. City Manager Andy Joslin said this could total as much as $5,500, which the council voted to allocate for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wilson County’s summer program at the Lauro G. De Leon III Floresville Event Center.

In other business, Joslin informed the council that the Floresville Independent School District (ISD) sent the city a letter, in which the district requests being excluded from Floresville’s refuse contract with Allied Waste. This is because the district and Republic Services -- which recently acquired Allied -- belong to the same purchasing cooperative.

Floresville ISD Superintendent Jerry Lee Hunkapiller wrote in the letter that if the district were permitted to contract with Republic on its own, it would result in a savings of approximately $800 per month. Joslin said the proposal currently is undergoing a legal review, since part of the refuse contract involves an exclusivity clause.

In attendance: Mayor Diana Garza and councilmen John W. Guerrero, Eric Rodriguez, and Sherry Martinez Castillo; City Manager Andy Joslin, City Secretary Sherry Pollok, Assistant City Secretary Monica Cordova, and City Comptroller Lara Feagins

 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Fred Ohnesorge  
Floresville, TX  
May 1, 2013 9:33pm
 
how can you charge all commercial users the same basic rate... if you own a small retail business that has a historically low usage,, why wouldn't you tier the rates based on previous usage ?

 
Webmaster  
Floresville  
May 1, 2013 1:26pm
 
Video and PDF document added.

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