Utility Authority approves rate increase

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 18, 2016

Rate increases are never popular for those who are affected. Recently the Pearl River County Utility Authority undertook the tough decision of increasing rates for some customers.
The bulk of the change will affect residents living in Hide-A-Way Lake, increasing their bill by $5 per month, and decreasing their minimum usage.
This will be a big change for a lot of the residents who live in the gated community. For the most part, residents in Picayune, Poplarville and other areas of the county who receive wastewater service from the Utility Authority won’t see much of a change, other than a .50 per month increase on the overage charge for an additional 1,000 gallons of wastewater treatment.
In just about every meeting concerning the matter, the majority of the complaints have come from HAWL residents, meaning these residents are very concerned about having to pay more per month for a service they essentially need.
However, every other customer of the Utility Authority has been paying what HAWL is now required to pay.
For instance, previous to this change, customers in Picayune and Poplarville were paying $29.75 per 3,000 gallons of wastewater usage per month, while HAWL residents were paying $24.25 for 4,000 gallons of the same service.
Essentially HAWL residents were paying less for more.
It’s actually quite surprising that more people living in the cities did not show up to protest that fact.
What it all really comes down to is every customer of any business should be treated fairly. When one customer is receiving more service for less, the business or service provider has a choice.
They can either lower the rate and give more service to those not receiving it, and thereby lose money. Or they can bring everyone to the same playing field and ensure the business or service will continue to be solvent.

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