ONLINE UPDATE: Rate increase approved by CFPUA Board

by Miriah Hamrick
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority residential customers will see a $5.40 bump in bimonthly bills beginning in May 2014.

The CFPUA Board unanimously approved the 4.4 percent rate increase during an April 9 meeting at the New Hanover County Government Center.

Fixed charges will remain static.

The increase applies to water and sewer volumetric rates. Water rates will increase from $3.42 per 1,000 gallons to $3.67 per 1,000 gallons. Sewer rates will increase from $4.21 per 1,000 gallons to $4.56 per 1,000 gallons.

Nonresidential customers will see an increase of $36 in bimonthly bills.

The increase is intended to offset losses the authority incurred during the 2013 fiscal year, when water consumption dropped by 8 percent.

The CFPUA board approved a $1.2 million budget cut in February 2014 in an attempt to curb the financial impact of the usage decline on customers. During a March 12 board meeting, three rate options to additionally offset losses were presented to the board.

Option B, recommended by the authority’s staff and finance committee, assumed water consumption would decline by an additional 4 percent in 2014 and called for a 4.4 percent rate increase.

Two Wilmington residents spoke against the rate increase during the March 12 meeting.

The rate increase is the second time customers have seen a hike in bimonthly bills in the last year. On May 1, 2013, the authority approved a 10 percent increase in bimonthly bills when a uniform rate structure was adopted.

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