Expect higher water, sewer rates

Published 9:04 am Friday, November 24, 2017

The bad news: expect water and sewer rates in Davie County to increase over the next five years.

The good news: it could be worse.

The county contracted with Davenport & Co. to study the rate structure, knowing that the East Davie sewer project ($17.5 million)  is in the works, as are expansions and improvements to the county water system ($12 million).

Mitch Brigul of Davenport told county commissioners the water and sewer fund is in great financial shape. The problem as it gets ready to borrow to pay for the sewer plant? It has never borrowed money before; therefore, a credit rating for a low interest rate would be slim without changes.

Some of those changes include increasing rates to pay for the improvements.

“From a financial perspective, Davie has operated a great utility system,” Brigul said. The county needs a policy that reflects any debt can be paid responsibly.

The study includes the fact that more customers will go online when the sewer plant is built, and the county’s rate to the Forsyth system will be cut in half.Also, Bermuda Run will become a bulk sewer customer of the county.

The proposal calls for a 2.25 percent increase in rates for each year through 2024. The proposal is open for public comment for 45 days. Commissioners are expected to vote on it in January.

“We need a road map, and that’s what this does,” said board chair, Terry Renegar.