BERRYVILLE — Residents and businesses can expect to pay more for their water and sewer service this fall.
The proposed increases are part of a five-year plan — with increases each year — to generate more revenue to help pay for more than $35 million in improvements to the town’s water/sewer infrastructure. Consultants say those improvements will be needed during the next 20 years to prevent the system from failing.
The monthly administrative fee for water service is set to jump from $2.50 to $7.13. An increase in the administrative fee for sewer service from $2.50 to $4.82 also is proposed.
No changes in water and sewer user rates are put forth. Currently, customers pay $8.15 for 1,000 gallons of water and $17.27 for 1,000 gallons of processed sewage monthly for a total of $25.42. With the combined administrative fees of $5, the total bill is $30.42.
The proposed increases would raise those bills by $6.95 to $37.37.
Additional costs are imposed for each thousand gallons used beyond 1,000.
Increases in availability fees for each service also are planned.
Berryville Town Council has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed increases for its next regular monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8. The council usually doesn’t meet in August, and no meeting is planned next month.
During its October meeting, the council will consider adopting the new rate schedule. If it’s adopted, the rate changes will become effective on Nov. 19.
In response to recommendations by the consultants, last fall the water rate dropped by 25 cents and the sewer rate rose by 27 cents per 1,000 gallons. The $2.50 administrative fees were imposed at that time, too.
The council learned about the proposed fee hikes during its meeting earlier this week.
In another matter, the council approved $264,000 in budget amendments for the fiscal year that began July 1. Among them, the police department will get $6,000 to cover pay hikes for officers who complete career development programs.
Other amendments are largely for new equipment and facility improvements. The largest, at $132,000, is to finish a pump replacement project at the water treatment plant.
Reserve funds will cover the expenses.
Recorder Erecka Gibson made the motion to approve the amendments. The vote was unanimous. There was no discussion since the amendments were presented to the council during a previous meeting.
The council also:
• Learned that Town Manager Keith Dalton still is in negotiations with a company for a new garbage collection contract.
• Presented a resolution of appreciation to local real estate agent Jim Barb, who served on the Berryville Architectural Review Board for almost 30 years before retiring from it in June. He was one of the board’s original members.