Cleveland Town Council

Correction and update on water/ sewer rate increase

Last week, The Blount Countian
incorrectly reported that the Cleveland Town Council passed a motion at its Aug. 5 regular meeting to raise Cleveland water department rates by 7.36 percent, to apply to all except minimum usage accounts of 2000 gallons per month or less. The motion to raise rates actually failed on a tie vote at the Aug. 5 meeting. The paper regrets the error.

Voting for the rate increase were Mayor Jerry Jones and council members Doug Hill and Glenn Puckett. Voting against were council members Mike Evans, Kandy Little, and David Grigsby.

A special town meeting was called one week later on Aug. 12. The purpose of the meeting was to reconsider the need for a rate increase in light of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s requirement that an additional employee be hired for the Cleveland water and sewer department. Mayor Jones and all council members were present.

As a result of water department manager Steve Pass’s recalculation of the minimum rate increase needed to support a new hire, Pucket moved to increase rates by 6.19 percent, or $2.20 per month on average water bills with a letter to the Farmers Home Rural Development agency requesting approval for the increase. An average water bill runs about $37 per month on usage of 5000 gallons. The motion was seconded by Grigsby. It subsequently passed by roll call vote with Jones, Hill, Grigsby, and Puckett voting in favor and Evans and Little opposed.

The increase applies to all accounts except minimum usage customers using 2000 gallons or less per month. Implementing the rate increase will require a second vote of the town council once permission is granted by the rural development agency for the requested increase.