Springfield Increases Water and Sewer Rates - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Springfield Increases Water and Sewer Rates

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Water and sewer rates in Springfield are going up as soon as the next bill.

The city commission held a public forum, Tuesday, to get input from residents about the proposed higher fees.

Many people showed up to voice their concerns. Some were unhappy with the changes, but for the most part residents seemed to understand the need for change.

"I understand that the city has to make up this somehow, I think that a 30 percent increase is a large step for a lot of people especially in these times when we are all scrimping and trying to get by doing without."

Springfield has not increased their rates in concurrence with the counties rate increases, forcing the city to pull money from their general account.  

"If these rates would have increased like they were supposed to over the past several years, we wouldn't be here." said JD Newton, Human Resources Director for the City of Springfield. "Unfortunately it happened all at one time and it's got everybody riled up."

The fact is as much as I hate pay raises or any increases, I don't think the city could have been any fairer in the fact that this has got to happen and this is about as gentle as they could be with it," said Gerry Lawter, resident.

 "If the county goes up, we'll go up 2.5 or 3 percent to cover our increase. So, we're going to be looking at doing that for the next budget year so we don't have to come back and do this to the citizens. I would rather take a dollar from you than 10 dollars," said Mayor Ralph Hammond.

"I think we came up with a plan that good for everybody involved, the city and the citizens."

For water, there will be a 15% increase on the base rate and a 15% increase on the per thousand gallon price.

With sewer, they will leave the base rate the same and charge 20% more per thousand gallons.

Residents will no longer get 2,000 gallons included in the base sewer rate.

The city will be offering a 15% discount for the elderly.

The commission voted to approve these changes unanimously.