Water rate increase explained further

Published 4:36 pm Monday, August 29, 2022

Earlier this summer, Town of Chocowinity residents both inside and outside town limits began to see increases in their water bills. The increase was approved by town council when they adopted the annual town budget, because the increase was listed in the budget. 


Kevin Brickhouse, public works director for the Town of Chocowinity provided more information as to why the cost of water and sewer rose in the 2022-2023 town budget. 


As previously reported by the Daily News, “Last year, the water service rate for a standard residential meter used inside town limits was $14.75, but outside town limits it was $29.50. The sewer flat charge inside town limits was $21, but outside town limits it was $42,” 


“This year, the water service rate for inside town limits was increased to $17.50 (an 18.6% increase rounded to the nearest tenth). The water service rate for outside town limits was increased by the same percentage to $29.50. The sewer flat charge inside town limits rose to $22.65, but to $45.30 outside town limits. The outside standard utility allowance is now $67.95.” 


Brickhouse explained the Town of Washington treats Chocowinity’s wastewater and charges them monthly for the service. The charge went up five percent last year which was directly absorbed by Chocowinity water and sewer customers. Also, the cost of products purchased by public works, “increased on average by 37.7% from the previous year. The Town elected to absorb some of this increase and reduced the line item to a 25% increase for customers for supplies and equipment,” Brickhouse wrote in an email to the Daily News. 


“The Hill Road Water Treatment Plant Project was included in the water budget for 2022. This project will allow the Town to replace the liners in the lagoons located at that plant. The Station #8 Rehabilitation project located on Albritton Drive was included in the sewer budget for 2022,” he continued. 


He also said employee cost of living pay increases were an additional determining factor for increasing rates to the current amount.