The Town of Gainesboro passed the first reading of a two percent increase of the town’s Water and Sewer rate Thursday night.
Gainesboro consulting engineer Nathaniel Green said a yearly increase of two percent is recommended by the state’s Wastewater Financing Board.
“The 2-percent rate increase is just a cost-of-living increase,” Green said. “That’s what they try to look at. Based on all the other utilities I’m looking at, between a 1.5 and 2-percent increase cost-of-living over the last 10 years is about the average. If you stick to 2, it keeps you from falling back into it.”
Green told the Town Council that if Gainesboro were to fall behind on its rate structure, the state has the authority to raise the rates itself. He pointed to a town near Chattanooga that had their rates raised 60 percent in one year.
The ordinance passed with a 2-1 vote. Alderman Roger Gore voted no. He said he felt like it was wrong to ask residents to pay more for water when he felt like some utility districts were undercharged for water received from Gainesboro.
“Why do we keep busting these people in town when we sell to a larger district cheaper than we do here,” Gore said.
Once the ordinance passes a final reading, the new rate will go into effect September 1.