Rate hike talk is not all bad news

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 18, 2015

We support the leadership of the Pearl River County Utility Authority as they prepare to consider a rate hike next year.
No one wants to pay more for goods and services and we know this decision is weighing heavily on the board.
That said, by replacing old, crumbling infrastructure now and repairing what they can, the PRCUA is saving money in the long run, even if they must raise rates now. Sewer lines and sewer treatment plants are incredibly important to every community, but they’re also costly so ignoring those costs now will take a heavier toll later on. Just look to other Mississippi cities to see how expensive ignoring these problems can be.
The good news is, there is a good chance the rate hike will not be felt by the majority of the ratepayers because it will only affect the heaviest water and sewer users—likely large households and certain businesses. The majority of citizens, we understand, will not be affected.
This will assuredly not be the case at the next rate hike, but for now, assuming preliminary plans work out, we are certain the PRCUA board is doing what is best for all involved.
The Picayune city council should take note of the PRCUA board’s action in the coming months. If the PRCUA does not face much public outcry (and we hope they will not) then the council should feel some security that a small rate increase for water in the city might not be as politically ruinous as these things are often feared.
For months, the city council has considered a rate hike for its water customers. Soon, this talk must manifest a plan—and that plan must address the broken and weakened water lines that run throughout the city. If these problems can be addressed without a rate hike, so be it. We hope that is the case.
But, if correcting serious problems comes with a cost, we need our council members to vote to fix the problems nevertheless.

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