Houston water, sewer rates going up in November

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

Water and sewer rates are going up for everyone, but those who use the most will feel it the most.

The Houston Board of Mayor and Aldermen adopted a minimum payment increase of .50-cents each for water and sewer rates last week and also voted to increase the rate charged for users of over 3,000-gallons of water a month, go from $2 per thousand gallons to $2.80.

Customers will see their combined minimum water and sewer bill go up $1. The sewer rate for using over 3,000-gallons will remain unchanged. The fee for garbage pickup will remain unchanged at $12 a month.

Aldermen made this move in an effort to bring water and sewer bills closer in line with each other. Industrial customers pay a commercial rate and the increase will most likely be felt by residential customers who fill up their swimming pool each year.

Aldermen have discussed increasing garbage pickup rates and have also discussed how going from twice to once-a-week pickup might affect those rates.

The new water and sewer rates will go into effect in November.

In other business:

* The city rejected bid for a surplus tractor and mower. The tractor burned more than a year ago and has since been replaced by the city. The top bid of $3,500 was under the anticipated value of $4,000 for the tractor and $3,000 for the mower.

* Aldermen voted to accept a bid of $20,924 for a new half-ton pickup from Griffin Automotive. The new truck will be used by the Houston Police Department.

Joe Usry Chrysler/Dodge/ Jeep of Jackson was the low bidder at $20,600. The city noted the cost of driving to Jackson to get the vehicle and the desire to purchase from hometown businesses as the reason for accepting Griffin’s bid.

* The board asked Town Marshal Billy Voyles to contact owners about vicious dog complaints. The board was approached by James Clark who was concerned the city did not have a vicious dog ordinance.

Aldermen pointed out the city does have a nuisance dog ordinance and dog owners found in violation can be issued a ticket.

* The city agreed to fund maintenance at the National Guard Building for $2,000.

In addition to being used at headquarters for the 288th Sapper Company the building is also the local Veteran’s Information Center, a voting precinct and a disaster shelter.

* The city voted to fund the Historic Hometown Houston-Main Street program for $5,000. The funds will be used to promote downtown revitalization, festivals and annual events.

* The city voted to pay Natchez Trace EPA $5,500 to install and remove Christmas lights this season. Natchez Trace EPA traditionally splits the cost of installing lights on city light poles and in trees on The Square. Last year the city’s cost to put up lights was $5,725.

* The city voted to fund the MS Valley Flywheel Festival at $2,000. The spring festival will be April 27-28 and the fall event will be Sept. 28-29.

* The city voted to fund COPES, a drop-out prevention program sponsored by the Houston Exchange Club. The city agreed to fund the program for $1,500.