City utility customers outside Vicksburg to see rate increases

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Mississippi Public Service Commission will allow the city of Vicksburg to increase water and sewer rates to its residential and commercial customers who are more than 1 mile outside the city limits.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved raising water and sewer rates in August 2018, implementing half the increase in October 2018 and the other half on Oct. 1.

However, city attorney Nancy Thomas said, the city needed Public Service Commission approval to implement the increase.

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“The customers living more than a mile outside the city are under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission, so the city had to get the PSC’s permission to increase the rates,” Thomas said. “The city had to apply to implement the increase for 2019.”

She said 15-20 city water and sewer customers live more than a mile outside the city.

The PSC’s approval, signed Nov. 6, came after a commission hearing on the city’s application, or notice of intent.

According to the hearing report, the commissioners determined the additional revenue raised by the increase is necessary to fund improvements to the city’s aging water system and “will ensure that Vicksburg remains in a stable financial posture” to provide water service to its customers.

The commissioners also determined the city’s notice of intent “represents water rates which are fair, just and reasonable.”

Under the new rate structure, the minimum rate a customer pays is set on a sliding scale based on the size of the water meter and water use. The least a residential customer living in the city pays under the new schedule is $10.06 for the first 2,000 gallons.

Commercial and industrial users in the city pay a minimum of $41.18 for the first 4,000 gallons used.

The minimum residential sewer rate is $16.10 for the first 2,000 gallons and $4.96 per 1,000 gallons for the second 2,000 gallons.

Residential and commercial customers outside the city limits pay double the rates paid by city customers, with residential customers paying a minimum of $20.12 for the first 2,000 gallons of water used. Commercial customers pay $82.36 for the first 4,000 gallons.

Thomas said the rate increase does not affect area water districts that buy water from the city, adding those rates are set by the water district boards.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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