Saturday, September 18, 2021
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Celina Water Rate Increase Made Official, City Studies Future Plans

The same Tuesday night the Celina Board of Aldermen gave final approval to a new water rate, it began work on the process for future increases.

Mayor Luke Collins said the city has started a water service coverage study. Collins said the outcome could affect customers in city limits.

“The time and the cost of working outside the city is a lot more than inside the city,” Collins said. “So what I would like to see happen in the future if possible based on the information that we find through our study would be to lower the rates in the city.”

Collins said some city water services stretch beyond the Tennessee border. Collins said the expense to serve those customers might make increasing their rates the right move.

“We will need to wait and see what it looks like at budget time,” Collins said.

The newly approved rate increases by $2.20 coming to $10.80 per 1000 gallons. The change will be implemented to October’s billings, according to City Recorder Jeannie Lee. Lee said a three percent yearly increase was also included but can be reevaluated each year.

The rate hike comes after recommendations from the Tennessee Comptroller’s. Over the past five years, Celina has lost money providing water services, according to Collins.

Aldermen Kenny Westmoreland said he worried if the city did not examine the issue, the state might force the issue.

“If we don’t take action, we’re going to be marching to the beat of somebody else’s drum,” Westmoreland said.

In other business, the Board of Aldermen approved a contract with Precision Engineering to finish the current sewer moratorium project Tuesday. Collins said the contract length depends on the final product of the job.