Falkville votes hike in water, sewer rates

Falkville Town Council approved an 11 percent increase in water and sewer rates at a regular meeting Tuesday night.

The adjustment, which will be effective with the January 2014 billing, will bring the monthly cost of water for a residential customer using 3,000 gallons of water to $20.58, an increase of $2.26. The same customer will see the monthly sewer charge move to $19.43, an increase of $2.13.

Mayor Bob Ramey said the increase was necessary to offset the increased cost of securing water from the town’s two suppliers, Hartselle Utilities and the East Lawrence and West Morgan Water Authority.

“I know raising rates isn’t popular,” he said. “West Morgan raised its rates in October and Hartselle is doing the same at the beginning of next year.

“We don’t have any other choice but to pass on those costs to our customers. We’re also faced with replacing the town’s water meter next year and that’s going to be a big expense.”

The increased rates will also apply to customers with water meters larger than 3/4 inch and one inch.

In another matter, the council conducted a public hearing and introduced an ordinance governing the placement of manufactured homes within the town limits but stopped short of considering its passage.

After consulting with town attorney Larry Madison, the governing body opted to delay consideration until the town’s Planning Commission has the opportunity to review an ordinance with guidelines similar to those in Hartselle and Decatur.

Madison pointed out that the ordinance up for consideration was written about 14 years ago but never adopted. It allows manufactured homes in an R-3 zone. He suggested that the planning commission might be interested in looking at an ordinance with stronger provisions.

Councilman David Carroll reported that an architectural firm expects to have plans for a town hall addition ready for review on Nov. 12.

Benny Weaver reported that he is following through on complaints about high grass and weeds on his property on Pine Street, and lacks only one more lot to have everything bush hogged.

“I don’t want anyone else to say anything about my property and not hold every other property owner to the same standard,” he stated.

“No one is singling you out,” Ramey said. “It’s a big job to get everything done that needs to be done. We’re working with others, too.”

Crossroads EMS owner Candi Hayes said she is working with Falkville’s two nursing homes on a “Home for the Holidays” project for two residents of the nursing home. She also said her business is interesting in sponsoring a “Coats for Kids” project.

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