Silverhill Council passes water rate increase

By John Underwood / john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 2/6/19

SILVERHILL, Alabama — At its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 22, the Silverhill Town Council amended its water rate ordinance raising rates to help pay for a water expansion planned for 2019.

At its Dec. …

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Silverhill Council passes water rate increase

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SILVERHILL, Alabama — At its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 22, the Silverhill Town Council amended its water rate ordinance raising rates to help pay for a water expansion planned for 2019.

At its Dec. 17 meeting, the council voted to post proposed changes to the town’s water ordinance, which includes a $1 increase for in-town and out-of-town customers, plus the addition of a $25 service fee for each new water service requested.

The ordinance passed unanimously on Jan. 22. Council members Jared Lyles and Wayne Gruenloh were not present at the meeting.

At its Nov. 19 meeting, the council voted to approve a more than $500,000 general obligation warrant (GOW) to pay for the water expansion project.

The grant from the Alabama Drinking Water Finance Authority and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management will fund most of the project at an estimated cost of $548,22.56, plus $6,778.44 in capitalized interest and $10,000 in finance expenses, bringing the total loan amount to $565,000.

Of that amount, the town will only be required to repay $295,000. The rest will be paid by a federal matching grant.

The council voted to approve a resolution at its April 16 meeting to enter into an agreement with Civil Southeast regarding the running of 8-inch water lines and replacing of 2-inch water lines with 8-inch waterlines along East Boulevard.

The project requires a loan from the town, with the first payment not due until January 2020. At earlier meetings, officials discussed increasing water rates over a 2-year period to help pay for the loan.

Ordinance 451-01-2019 amends Ordinance No. 408, which was adopted July 7, 2014.

Included in the changes are increasing residential rates from $21.79 to $22.79 for the first 2,000 gallons for in-town customers; $24.05 to $25.05 for out-of-town customers. Additional rates will remain unchanged.

The ordinance also calls for the addition of the one-time service fee for new customers. The fee would not apply for existing customers.

The change also adds that the town accepts credit card and debit card payments by phone and bank draft payments on the 15th of every month.

In other business Tuesday, Jan. 22, the council:

•Tabled action on a sponsorship for Silverhill Special Olympics pending information from Lyles, who was not present at the Jan. 22 meeting. At the Jan. 7 meeting, Nicey Jones with the Silverhill Elementary School Special Olympics addressed the council about sponsoring the eight students that qualified to attend the Special Olympics this year. Funds from the annual Zombie Walk hosted by The Porch could be used for that purpose, officials said.

•Took no action on renewal of advertisement for the Robertsdale High School baseball team. “We just can’t afford it right now,” said Silverhill Mayor Tim Wilson.

•Approved minutes for the Dec. 17 meeting.

•Approved minutes for the Jan. 7 meeting.

•Approved financial expenditures for Jan. 7 and 22.