Vernon Could Get Higher Water And Sewer Rates

Vernon Could Get Higher Water And Sewer Rates

Vernon residents might have to pay $3.00 more a month for their water and sewer bill.

"Overtime it will have a lot of impact on me. I mean, gas is going up, so those three dollars are going to add up eventually," said a Vernon resident.

Meanwhile another resident says, "Rates going up would be ok as long as we're able to drink the water and take a shower without it smelling."

The quality of the water is precisely one of the reasons why the city's commission could increase water and sewer rates. The city's water is safe to drink but its levels of nitrate are slightly higher than what the federal government requires. That's why the city had to get their nitrate removal plant up and running again after six years.

"There's a lot of extra costs for the salt it's required to run the plant and it's an extra $4,000 a week that we have to spend to get the water to the highest level," said Mitch Grant, Vernon's City Manager.

The higher rates would make up for those unexpected expenses and a decline in the city's revenue caused by the drought.

Grant says, "We ask people to cut back on water usage and the people here in Vernon are very receptive to that and they have cut down their usage."

That's why Grant says the city's not making the usual $6 million a year from utilities. Good news is residents won't have to deal with even more charges now that Vernon is in stage 2 drought restrictions and possibly going into stage 3 soon.

The city's commission will vote on the rates next month. If an increase is approved, higher rates would go into effect April 1st.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6