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Pinellas water rate increases to be discussed at two hearings

Published May 5, 2015

CLEARWATER — Water and sewer rates in Pinellas County will increase slightly over the next four years as part of a plan the County Commission will consider today.

A county consultant says the modest increases are needed to improve the water system infrastructure, maintain cash flow and reserves and cover the cost of purchasing water from Tampa Bay Water.

The first of two public hearings on the proposed rates is set for 9:30 a.m. at the county courthouse, 315 Court St. in Clearwater. The second public hearing is May 19. If approved, the increases will appear on bills on or after Oct. 1 and on Oct. 1 for each subsequent year.

Here is a rundown of the proposed changes:

• The monthly base water rate charged on each bill for retail customers, which includes residences, would increase from $6.35 to $6.80 in 2019, or 1.75 percent each year. The per-thousand gallon rate would rise from $4.78 to $5.13 in the same period.

• The per-thousand gallon rate for wholesale water customers also would increase by 1.75 percent each year, from the current $3.85 to $4.13.

• The monthly base rate for retail sewer customers would increase from the current $13.26 to $13.66 in 2019. The per-thousand gallon rate would increase from the current $4.84 to $4.99.

• The per-thousand gallon rate for wholesale sewer customers would increase from the current $4.17 to $4.30 in 2019.

• Increases through 2019 are also proposed for retail and wholesale reclaimed water rates. The retail rates would increase by $1 per year, and the user fee assessed per thousand gallons would increase five cents per year.

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