Rates Up 73%: Water, Sewer Improvements To Be Costly

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 11, 2012

By Mike Barnhardt
Enterprise Record

Obtain more capacity from Winston-Salem. Raise the rates. Get ready for more regulations. Start the process to build a $17 million wastewater treatment plant to handle growth expected in eastern Davie.
The information given to Davie County Commissioners at a workshop last month was almost overwhelming. Board members took it all in, and in coming months will be faced with decisions on how to proceed.
It will be a tough sell, said Bermuda Run Mayor Ken Rethmeier. Going over figures provided by McGill Associates, an engineering and consulting firm hired to make a report by the county, Rethmeier said it amounts to a 73 percent increase in water and sewer rates over the next 10 years.
“Selling that to the public won’t be easy,” he said.
County Manager Beth Dirks said those rates shouldn’t increase that much, that the numbers were a “worst case scenario.” Also, because of the recession, the county didn’t raise rates for several years, while the cost of business kept increasing.
She said the county should qualify for grants for part of the work, especially at the Cooleemee plant. The board will also consider impact fees and other fees to property owners who could benefit from the wastewater system.
Wastewater treatment plants that discharge into water that eventually reaches High Rock Lake will come under stricter …