Water, Sewage bills for Starkville Residents will increase next year

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Starkville residents will see a change in their utility bills early next year.

The Board of Alderman voted to raise the price of water and sewage service to help pay for needed improvements.

The People of Starkville may find themselves buying one less soda or coffee each month to contribute to their water bill but city leaders think the proposed improvements will be worth it.

The Starkville Board of Alderman has voted to raise the cost of sewage and water services in the city.

And while some may wonder why they’re going to have to pay more, Starkville Utilities General Manager, Edward Kemp said it’s all about the research.

“We evaluate our water rates every couple of years and the last time we did it was the summer of 2020 a lot has changed in that two-and-a-half-year period so we consulted with the Mississippi state water research institute which has a model of our water system, and they evaluated our rates on our current needs, as well as compared them with our peer communities,” said Kemp.

Kemp says around 80% of customers will see an increase between $3 and $5 a month, but those few extra dollars a month will add up to needed improvements for the city.

“What these two increases do is generally what we anticipate a little about a million dollars per year and that funding is necessary to keep investing into our system and to continue to make upgrades to make sure that we can meet the customer demand and also provide a very high-quality level of water and wastewater treatment,” said Kemp.

Mayor Lynn Spruill understands that even a few dollars every month can add up but it’s necessary now to keep things flowing in the future.

“I understand that an additional $3 a month or $6 a month matters but it also matters that they have clean water when they turn on the tap and that their toilets flush and understand that all those things happen because of those additional monies are going to be good for everybody’s concerns,” said Spruill.

And Kemp agreed.

“We have to continue to invest in our infrastructure. our infrastructure is getting old every day, and if we do not continue to invest and to upgrade into making sure that we can meet our customer’s needs, our system will fail, and we certainly don’t want that, and our customers don’t want that, So, I hope our customers understand that these additional costs will help make our system more robust. It will allow us to offer a higher level of service to them and also prepare us for the future,” said Kemp.

Spruill said the increase will take effect on February 1 and plans to notify all customers as soon as possible.

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