FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Chinika Hughes (o) 601.545.4508

Working to Keep Water/ Sewer Rates Low for Citizens

HATTIESBURG, MS, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016—–City of Hattiesburg residents will experience a decrease in their water and sewer bills effective September 6, according to Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree. “It is indeed a pleasure to announce good news about Hattiesburg’s water and sewer rates,” Mayor Johnny DuPree said. “We now have the opportunity to roll back water and sewer rates.”

Past Rate ( May 2016)

Base Rate for Water – $13.34 ( This includes 3,000 gallons of water) Base Rate for Sewer – $13.34 ( This also includes 3,000 gallons of sewer)

Rate for over 3,000 gallons of water – $4.02 Rate for over 3,000 gallons of sewer- $4.02

Current Rate

 Base Rate for Water – $20.84 ( This includes 3,000 gallons of water) Base Rate for Sewer – $20.84 ( This also includes 3,000 gallons of sewer)

Rate for over 3,000 gallons of water – $6.27 Rate for over 3,000 gallons of sewer- $6.27

Future Rate

Base Rate for Water – $16.00 ( This includes 3,000 gallons of water) Base Rate for Sewer – $16.00 ( This also includes 3,000 gallons of sewer)

Rate for over 3,000 gallons of water– $4.82 Rate for over 3,000 gallons of sewer- $4.82

DuPree explained much larger rate increases had been anticipated to fund the purchase of land and to fund construction of a new land application wastewater treatment system. Last month a decision was made to abandon the land application concept, therefore anticipated construction costs of a new system and the associated rate increases have been delayed.

The City is currently in negotiations with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and Gulf Restoration Network (GRN) to adopt a new project schedule which would extend the deadline for having a new waste water treatment system operational. A new project schedule would provide residents and officials more time to plan and save for the expenditures that will eventually be needed to address Hattiesburg’s long-term wastewater treatment needs.

“To continue to be as transparent as possible, I want to be sure people understand that there are still needs to be addressed in association with the old wastewater treatment facility (lagoons) that was built in the 60’s,” DuPree said. “Although we are no longer being fined $1,500 per day, Hattiesburg will still have to address future upgrades and improvements for our entire water and waste water systems.”

Carter Carroll, President, Hattiesburg City Council, expressed his pleasure with the current events. “I’m very pleased with the strong working alliance that has been built between the City, MDEQ and GRN. Positive results are becoming more and more apparent as we continue exploring ways to best meet the citizens’ needs.”

For now, operation and maintenance costs associated with water and wastewater treatment facilities, collection and transmission system (pipes) must continue. These costs include a tele-monitoring device that will allow maintenance personnel to “scope” pipes and other transmission facilities in order to quickly and more efficiently detect leaks or other maintenance needs.

The city remains committed to involving the public every step of the way as improvements are made. Citizens can expect to begin seeing notices for public involvement concerning this issue as we continue investing in Hattiesburg.

 

 

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