Council Approves Water Department Fee Increases

By Jeremy Coumbes on August 30, 2023 at 10:36am

A few fees in the Jacksonville Water Department will be increasing soon, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have sticker shock on a future water bill.

The Jacksonville City Council approved the increases during their regular meeting Monday night. The fee increases are not part of the monthly service rate or costs but instead are isolated to things like bulk water sales and connections.

Mayor Andy Ezard says it has been a long time since these specific fees were last raised and they are now well below the average most municipalities charge. “It’s been probably twenty-five years that we have not raised rates. I mean, obviously, we’ve raised water and sewer rates, but like service fees, tap fees. There’s three or four of them that we lumped in there that were just way behind.

Ezard says he feels the increases aren’t exorbitant and are needed to help cover the costs of specific services provided by the water department. “By raising these we’re not gouging anybody, we’re just getting back to basically our costs that are going in.

For example when we get called out or parts and things, all that has gone up over that time. So we’re just trying to catch up there. We’re not trying to hurt folks financially, but with our due diligence in trying to reach a medium we felt comfortable raising those.”

Specifically, fees that are set to increase are the Call Out Fee, which currently is at $55.00 and will raise to $150.00. That will be broken out to better match specific reasons for the calls.

Tap Fees currently are set at a flat rate of $100.00 for water and $75.00 for sewer and those will change to include a parts cost plus a labor fee.

Also increasing is the Re-Connection Fee for non-payment from $15.00 to $50.00, and currently the cost of 100 gallons of bulk water is $.25 and will increase to $.50 going forward.