The water and sewer budget report, which the City Council did not hear at the May 4 work session, includes a request for a 4.5 percent water and sewer rate increase.
The City Council is reportedly scheduled to discuss the report at a Tuesday, May 11 work session. It will be the third time the water and sewer budget report has been on a work session agenda, and maybe the third time will be the charm.
The proposed increase is 4.5 percent for both customers inside and outside the city limits for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Greensboro water and sewer customers outside the city limits pay about 2.5 times the inside rate. For those inside the city, the increase for an average customer will be $2.12 per month, and for those outside $5.28 a month.
According to the report, Greensboro currently has lower water and sewer rates than Winston-Salem, Durham, Charlotte, Raleigh, High Point and a bunch of other cities. Burlington does, however, have lower rates than Greensboro.
Water Resources, like everything else in the country, was affected by the COVID-19 shut downs. Currently the water department is owed about $1.5 million in outstanding bills.
Water Resources Department Director Mike Borchers said that his department is working with the Neighborhood Development Department to assist those who are eligible in applying for federal funding to help pay their bills. The federal rental assistance programs also have money available to help people pay their utility bills, including water and sewer.
Borchers said, “It is our hope and expectation to collect the vast majority of that.” He added that he also expected it would take some time for those bills to be paid.
Another major effect COVID-19 had on the Water Resources department was a significant reduction in commercial water usage, which resulted in a reduction in revenue.
Borchers said that because of the reduced revenue, “we tightened our budgets,” and one way of doing that was reducing expenditures on capital improvement projects.
Borchers said that with revenues picking back up and with the additional revenue from the rate increase, he hoped to be able to get back on schedule with the capital improvement program.
The Water Resources goal was to be on schedule to rehabilitate 1 percent of the water and sewer lines in the city every year by 2023, and because of the reduction in capital improvement projects that goal has been pushed back to 2027.
Just the beginning of taxation
What is that photograph of?
The dam at Lake Townsend.
Why do we have to be paying the price of lost revenue due to Covid. I paid my bills. Why is always put back on the citizens, this is a bad move. But with a democratic city government what do you expect.
Simple explanation. Lots of businesses went out of business, or were not open, so that reduced their use of water/sewer. Budgeting is based on actual & projected usage, which then translates to anticipated revenue to the City. When that falls, there is less revenue to the City.
Increase, increase, increase, ad nauseum. Milton Friedman put it best, but I can’t find his quote. My take is; they can’t manage what we send them now, why should we send them anymore? However, the Electorate is at fault. They elect these clowns to extort money from the people who pay taxes. (They do, too, but just don’t know it).
They can Smurf up downtown, but they can’t maintain roads anywhere else.
Dumb & Desperate in NC
See my reply to Val
Is this increase to pay for the “ Cure for Violence “ other non proven projects? AND support council’s “buddy” projects? Thus giving away our tax dollars to other councilwomen with no accountability?
No. The water and sewer ENTERPRISE operates as a utility separate from the rest of the city that subsists on taxes. State Law forbids WS revenue to be used on general fund expenditures funded by taxes. Water &. Sewer revenue must go “back in the ground”’ to to pay for treatment plant, water and sewer line maintenance and replacement and related Operational and Capital Improvements. Infrastructure rehab is expensive and necessary.
Why is another increase necessary to pay for the people who didn’t pay. I paid my bills go after the ones who didn’t. Another example of helping the poor poor minorities being kept down by Whitey and White privilege.
I am not shocked by this, The City Sewer and Water Department, is a sham. The city of Greensboro has a bad habit of stepping on and over it citizens to acquire their own twisted agenda. For example outside the city limits. Greensboro is about to provide services to citizens of Randleman. While stepping over others outside the limits. Head down 421 to Randleman, there are citizens who have had water well dry for years now. They have to bring in water!!!!!! I’m quiet sure this will not be the only area affected like this. Now lets talk inside the city limits. There are citizens who live inside the limits who do not have water or sewer lines provided by the city. These homes pay the same property taxes as their neighbors who have it all. Those home owners, are owed a refund. I wonder what FUND, the city will find to pull this money from. 2021 the year all the corrupt actions of Greensboro’s employees comes to light. I see 2021 as a year corrupt politicians in Greensboro are SUED for failing to do their jobs as stated by our laws. Ben Chavis knows of the corruption in the tax department, it was already in place when he got the job. But he DOUBLEDOWN on that corruption. Been Threatened on so many levels since 2007, seems they want me to shut up and go away. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, lets talk 911 tapes…..I got one. No one wishes to hear my tape, not even the GPD, which my cases 911 call originated from their office.. Conspiracy Theory, I have one, could be written into a book. 40 years worth and documented proof, which I do have in a book form. Almost 350 pages of it, and every bit of this has been shown to the city. Lawyers tell me my problems as a citizen are POLITICAL and have been told my case is a Conspiracy also. 2021 the year of JUSTICE from many abused, harassed, and threatened citizens. My daddy always did say, you can not fight city hall. Well you can fight city hall, if you LEVEL UP. As in enroll in Law School at the age of 63, then a year later toss your hat on the floor to run for mayor. The saddest part of this mess, over 200k citizens in the CITY, and only 30k voted in the election for our city leaders. We have major problems here in Greensboro and we all desire better then the city is given us now. Been doing animal rescue all my life, I am use to picking up crap and tossing it out. As a person who never looked into or wanted to go into politics, I do not see much differences now in the two. Bring back the PUBLIC DEBATE for these elections, they all have a lot to answer for. PERIOD
Use the old unspent bond funds. Water and Sewer are necessities and Council raises the rates all the time rather than fix the outdated infrastructure. I don’t like bond referendums, but would support on for updating the infrastructure for water and sewer. I also don’t think taxpayer that actually pay their bills should take up the slack for those who don’t. Cut off their services as the Ordinance states. You are going after the wrong people. I honestly believe the WS Department is one of the best run and best staffed departments, but they haven’t been given the authority to go after those who don’t pay their bills. They are working with infrastructure that was built 30-50 years and more ago. Council, do your job. Make those who don’t pay their bills responsible for their debts. Enough of having the rest of us pay for their lack of responsibility. Use the Covid Recovery money. You have ample budget choices from which to draw upon to do this. No rate increase for your responsible citizens. Keep making us pay for those who ignore the rules will make us all leave the City of Greensboro. We’ve had enough.