Mayor Explains Sewer Increase

Mayor Explains Sewer Increase

By Marla Jones

Managing Editor

RAINSVILLE, Ala.-- Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt announced at the June 7 meeting that the Rainsville City Council had reached an agreement between the City and The Waterworks, Sewer, and Gas Board of the Town of Section (WWSGBS) to take over billing sewer customers for the City of Rainsville.

Southern Torch has received many comments and complaints after citizens received their first bill which included the increase.  We contacted Rainsville Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt for clarification regarding their new sewer and water bill.  

“It was something that we didn't want to do but the sewer was first installed in 1978 and needed improvements” stated Mayor Lingerfelt.  “This will financially help the City Of Rainsville because we will not have to fund sewer through the General Fund.  USDA had informed us that we could not obtain grants due to our sewer rates being so low.” These grants will help in repair and expansion of the present sewer system.” 

Lingerfelt stated that Northeast Alabama Community College could not expand if it were not connected to the sewer system and that schools needed to be tied to the wastewater treatment plant. 

The increase of sewer and water is comparable to other municipalities according to Lingerfelt. 

The agreement between the City of Rainsville and the WWSGBS is a partnership with no exact fee for billing costs,  according to Lingerfelt.  The two entities have a working relationship with several different projects. 

The agreement states that Rainsville owns and operates a sewage treatment facility that has recently had over $2,000,000.00 of upgrades and is not currently operating at its full capacity. 

Rainsville will allow WWSGBS to introduce into Rainsville’s sewage treatment system a quantity of standard sewage and wastewater not exceeding One Hundred Forty Thousand (140,000) gallons in a twenty-four (24) hour period. There will be a $.50/thousand surcharge for each gallon over the amount per 24 hour period. The master meter to measure wastewater from the WWSGBS collection system entering the Rainsville treatment system is located near the Rainsville/Powell city limits on Highway 35, and on Highway 75. Rainsville will read the meter and record the results.  The WWSGBS will pay the City of Rainsville $3.40 per 1,000 gallons introduced into the system for the first year.  This fee will increase by an additional $0.03 per 1,000 gallons each year of the remaining three years of the contract. 

The City of Rainsville has over 800 sewer customers and helps service the surrounding towns. Citizens who are on sewer but have well water will pay the minimum cost of $26.38.  According to Lingerfelt, this is due to not having a way to measure water usage. 

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