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Richmond City Council rejects sewer rate decrease

By Sara Seidel/Staff Writer

The Richmond City Council nixed a proposal that would have lowered sewer rates for most Richmond residents but raised them for others.

The council’s 4-3 vote Tuesday night was not enough to pass the ordinance, which would have dropped the base rate for most residential users to $15.25 per month, down from $20.09. The rate would have fallen because an additional 435 customers, who now pay nothing because they live in multi-family dwellings that are served by a single meter, would have been added to the pool of users, spreading the revenue over a larger base.

That condition is the impetus that prompted Ward 3 Councilman Jim Dunwoodie to cast his “no” vote.

“I’m going to get $5 back on my sewer bill,” Dunwoodie said, but other residents would get $15 added to their monthly expenses.

Dunwoodie said many of those residents live in multi-family dwellings because they can’t afford a house. He contended that a sewer bill would pose a hardship to people who can least afford it.

Ward 1 Councilman Mike Persell, who voted for the
ordinance, countered that the city incurs costs operating a sewer system, and spreading those costs across all users is fair.

“At least it’s fair across the board,” Persell said.

The complete story is in the Thursday, July 30, 2015 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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