Utility rates should be the same for all

Published 9:04 am Friday, February 12, 2016

Residents of Hide-A-Way Lake are currently paying less for more service than residents in the city of Picayune.
A proposed change to the Pearl River County Utility Authority’s rate structure could change all that.
Currently, HAWL residents are receiving 4,000 gallons of wastewater treatment for $24.25, while Picayune residents are receiving 3,000 gallons of the same service for $29.27.
If a HAWL resident wants to use an additional 1,000 gallons of that service, they are charged an additional $2.15. Picayune residents pay $2.50 for the same 1,000 extra gallons.
What the Utility Authority is proposing brings all customers to an even keel, all residents would now pay $29.75 for 3,000 gallons of wastewater treatment and an additional 1,000 gallons would cost $3 more.
An increase to anyone’s bill is never a popular topic.
Every day it seems the price of everything goes up, and we get just a little bit less for our dollar.
Not 15 years ago two people could have dinner at a fast food restaurant for about $6. Today, it’s a deal if that same meal costs less than $10. What the Utility Authority is asking for is not unreasonable. Everyone should pay the same amount for the same service.
But, why couldn’t the board just adjust the rates to Picayune customers to reflect the rates of HAWL customers?
That might be a great idea for HAWL and Picayune residents alike, but the system currently transporting and processing all of that water would not continue to operate for very long if that was the decision of the board.
If the rates don’t reflect at least the actual cost to operate the system, then there would be no money to conduct repairs.
And as everyone knows, things break down, and repairing them is not free.

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