C ARENCRO — The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday that will increase water and sewage rates each year for the next five years.
The five-year plan the council adopted calls for the water and sewage rates to increase the first year by 48 cents a month for the first 3,000 gallons used commercially and 5,000 gallons used residentially beginning Nov. 1. Rates will increase another 10 cents for each additional 1,000 gallons used.
For the next four years, rates will increase each year by 50 cents.
Mayor Glenn Brasseaux said customers will see the rate increase on their Dec. 1 bills.
The increase was prompted by an audit the city received in June, which showed operating losses of $105,198 for the water department and $29,471 for sewage.
“Our auditors came in and said we would be operating at similar deficits (in the coming years),” Brasseaux said. “None of us want to increase rates, but they are necessary.”
Brasseaux said the majority of the community has been understanding of the increases.
“You have some people who will complain about anything,” Brasseaux said. “We don’t like to raise rates. We pay the same rates (the community) does. The big majority were scared of a whole bunch of dollars; it’s not that. It’s under $12 a year. Once you explain it to them, they’re OK with it.”
Brasseaux said compared with increases in other utilities and water rate increases in other cities, the rate increase in Carencro is reasonable.
“There are some exorbitant rates out there,” he said. “You can’t compare Carencro to Broussard or Scott. Each system has different minerals. We have heavy iron. Every system has different costs involved in treating it. We try to run it as efficiently as we can.”
Brasseaux said the five-year plan should eventually allow the water and sewer systems to run without a loss, but he did not rule out further increases.
“The auditor helped us crunch those numbers so we wouldn’t have to hit the public with a heavy increase this year,” Brasseaux said. “That is not to say that down the road we won’t have to increase them again, but as of now, it is just for the five years.”
Copyright © 2014, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved