City Increases Water/Sewer Rates

The City of Lufkin's water and sewer rates for residential customers have gone up every year. How much they increase depends on what's called a 'cost of service' analysis.

Assistant City Manager Keith Wright said, "The city's cost of services were exceeding the revenue from our water and sewer customers that are paying for that system."

The average residential customer will pay just over a dollar more on their bill each month. It doesn't sound like a lot, but for elderly homeowners, every penny counts.

Carl Christopher said, "It will affect [me]. I just have to pay so much on it and keep it going like that just to keep them from cutting it off."

City leaders realize the rate increase will upset some customers, but the extra funds will help offset the rising costs of their daily operations.

"We're not in this to make money," Wright said. "We're not in this as a profit business, we're just in this to pay for the cost of service. Your electrical rates go up, your fuel rates go up, you have to cover those expenses and that's what this is about - just covering the expenses that the city has to produce a gallon of water and to treat a gallon of sewer."

Residential water and sewer customers will see a 5.5 percent rate increase. Commercial users will also see a slight change in their monthly bill.

The water and waste water rate hike will take effect in October.