The Vader City Council has passed a $5 per month increase to sewer rates in their 2014 budget to keep up with rising infrastructure costs.
Passed unanimously during their Dec. 17 meeting, the increases had originally been contested quite strongly by council members, who felt a raise in rates would negatively affect residents already feeling the pinch of a sour economy. Particularly Council Members Janet Charlton and Linda Newton had said they would flatly refuse to approve a budget that included an increase in rates, stating alternatives such as a reduction in expenditures should be sought instead.
But Mayor Ken Smith said such options were not available as the costs to provide sewer services have continued to increase and expenditures could not be reduced without compromising the city’s ability to meet it’s service obligations.
Council Member Kevin Flynn remarked it has been his experience since passing the 2013 last year that, while it is politically popular to oppose rate increases, it is not always practical as the city must meet its financial obligations regardless of popular opinion.
The increase is expected to take effect beginning Jan. 1 and will be reflected on the first sewer bill of 2014.