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PEARSALL COUNCILORS APPROVED INCREASES IN 2020
Pearsall residents will see a price increase on their water, solid waste and wastewater bills beginning in October as the city enters year four of its utility rate sliding scale.
Adopted on September 3, 2020, the ordinance outlines annual rate increases to municipal utilities until October 2024. Councilors voted unanimously to accept the sliding scale after eliminating a $6.50 surcharge to residential accounts.
“Council choose to rescind the surcharge to accounts, so it left us with a dilemma,” City Manager Federico Reyes said in a phone interview on Thursday, July 13. “We needed to find a way to pay debt.”
At the time, councilors determined that an increase of the existing utility rates was necessary to operate and maintain the city’s water, wastewater and solid waste systems.
Beginning in October residential customers with a 5/8” and 3/4” meter will see their base water rates increase by 60 cents from $22.83 to $23.43; senior citizen accounts will be raised by 37 cents to $14.32; and commercial accounts with meters up to 1 1/2” will see a 40-cent price hike.
According to the ordinance, wastewater rates for residential customers will increase by $1.35 to the base cost; senior citizens’ accounts will rise by 88 cents; and all commercial accounts will increase from $30.76 to $32.00.
The smallest change on utility rates will be seen with solid waste, where residential accounts will be raised by 30 cents to $26.94. Senior citizen accounts are slated to charge $22.46, an increase of 43 cents; and business accounts will pay 67 cents more for trash collection of their commercial carts.
Commercial accounts with two-, three-, four-, six-, and eight-cubic-yard containers will see increases from $2.33 to $6.10 depending on how many trash collection days are slated for the business.
Records show that since the annual increase was implemented in 2020, councilors have used monies generated from the utility rates to maintain the city’s infrastructure including funding a $2.3 million project contract for a full-service maintenance plan with Maguire Iron Inc. for the city’s water system.
Reyes said the city uses approximately $750,000 of revenue generated by utilities to support payment of debt, primarily bonds issued in 2012 and 2016, and a water meter replacement project.