MASON — Residents of Mason will be seeing an increase on their water/sewer bills when they receive them this week, due to a sewer rate hike that took effect Oct. 1.
The increase is the second of four that the council agreed upon earlier this year. Readings of the ordinances to increase the bills were completed in January and February, with council stating at that time the hikes were necessary to complete both water and sewer upgrade projects.
The first increase was April 1 to the water, with another water hike approaching in April 2016. This is the first of two sewer rate increases, with the second to take place in October 2016.
Mayor Donna Dennis said Monday that the upgrade projects are on track and scheduled to begin next summer. She stated the water project will benefit the town greatly.
“We will have more pressure for all of the residents on the east side of town; hopefully less leaks, which means less overtime; and the new water meters will help the guys get the reading done faster to make it more efficient, and they can get other things done,” she said.
A water upgrade project to the west side of Mason was completed a few years ago.
While the upcoming water project is slated to improve lines and meters throughout town, the sewer upgrade will be mainly at the plant, according to the mayor.
“The sewer project is for the plant, which, if we don’t get fixed, we will be fined by the state,” she said. “This upgrade is needed to have the plant run more effectively and efficiently, and help.”
Prior to the April increase, minimum water/sewer bills for 2,000 gallons were $45.01. Following the first increase, the minimum bills went to $49.48. When the bills reach residents around the first of November, the minimum will be $51.66. Future raises will take the minimum bills to $56.13 with the April 2016 water hike, and $58.31 with the October 2016 sewer increase.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing and lives in Mason County.