WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. — Winter Springs City Commissioners are considering a proposal that would increase water rates not once, not twice, but six times.
The rate hike would impact thousands of Winter Springs residents.
If approved, the first rate increase would be at 18-percent beginning next year with future smaller increases until 2029.
The first of two public hearings on the proposal was scheduled for Thursday evening. Large crowds are expected to speak out about the proposal at each meeting, especially considering the city just recently increased its garbage collection rates.
City officials say they need the extra funds to fix some of their ailing water and sewer infrastructure.
“There’s a number of projects that we want to do, our wastewater treatment plants being the biggest of them,” Winter Springs Communications Officer Matt Reeser explained. “Meter replacement, line replacements...just maintenance altogether. We have to fund those.”
If they do nothing, Reeser says their reserves will eventually not have enough funds on-hand for basic repairs.
Under the proposal, the 18-percent increase would equate to approximately an additional $10 dollars on your bill.
Right now, the Winter Springs water and sewer rate of 54.48 cents per five-thousand gallons of consumption is one of the lowest in Seminole County. Lake Mary and Altamonte Springs are the lowest. Oviedo is the highest at 77.37 cents per 5,000 gallons.
If Winter Springs approves their rate increase, it would still be one of the lowest in the county.
“So while it sounds like a lot- any increases are going to give people pause- it’s not this dramatic,” Reeser said. “It is only for a specific part of the bill.”
The meeting for the first reading of that water rate increase proposal is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Winter Springs City Hall. Click the link above to listen live.
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