The Greensboro City Council will be discussing the budget for the Water Resources department at the work session beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 27 in the Plaza Level Conference Room.

The bad news is that water rates are going to go up.  The good news is that, even with the proposed rate increase, Greensboro will still have the second lowest water rates in the state.  Burlington will continue to have lower water rates than Greensboro.

According to the presentation, the Water Resources department will be requesting a 10.25 percent water rate increase and a 7.25 percent sewer rate increase.  If the City Council passes the requested rate increase, the average water bill for those who live in Greensboro will increase from $51.46 to $55.84.  Those who live outside the city limits but have Greensboro water and sewer service pay more than double what city residents pay.  With the requested rate hike the average bill for those outside the city will increase from $128.23 to $139.16.

Some of the issues that contribute to the higher cost of water and sewer service include: supply chain issues and inflation, compensation for employees has increased by 9 percent, the price of the chemicals used in the treatment process have risen by 50 percent, and the cost of capital construction has risen by an average of 30 percent.

Water and sewer is a big business and the recommended budget for the Water Resources department for fiscal year 2023-2024 is $165.7 million.  The Water Resources department is run as a separate enterprise fund supported by water and sewer fees and not by property or sales tax dollars.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan noted that the Environmental Protection Agency had proposed limits for PFOS and PFOA, and that while the city had committed over $30 million for upgrading the Mitchell Water Treatment Plant to remove these contaminants, upgrades would also have to be made at the Townsend Treatment Plant.