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Water rates on the rise in Munford

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If an ordinance passes on a second reading next month, residents of Munford will see their water and sewer rates increase.
According to an analysis conducted by city officials, bills will be between 27 and 30 percent higher.
For example, a person whose monthly water and sewer bill is currently $17.29 (1,891 gallons of usage) would be $22.53 under the new fee structure. A $34.22 (12,510 gallons) bill would become $43.63.
The Munford Board of Mayor and Aldermen, which passed the bill in first reading Monday night, will hold a public hearing on the ordinance April 28 at 7 p.m. The ordinance will be voted on later that night during the board meeting.
If the ordinance passes, residents will see the increased fees on their July bill.
The city received a letter from state officials last year mandating that fees increase because of “negative change in net assets for two consecutive years.”
Mayor Dwayne Cole said Munford's current water rates are ninth lowest in Tennessee and sewer rates rank in the bottom third when compared to other cities in the state.
Munford last increased water rates in 2004 and sewer rates have not changed since 1989.
“We now are under mandate to increase our rates to rectify this situation,” Cole said. “We spent a lot of time running various (fee) models. This will take us into the future. How far I can't tell you.”
In other matters:
• Public Works director Mark Walker said his department is still picking up limbs and debris from recent storms. He said it will be approximately two weeks until all the debris will be removed.
• Cole said he and city manager Peter Colin recently met with Ritter Communications to discuss issues with communication systems in Munford. He said many of the problems arose when Ritter acquired Millington Telephone, and that the weather was also a factor.
“I left the meeting feeling that they are sincerely seeking answers and taking immediate steps to improve our services,” Cole said.
• A motion passed allowing Cole to meet with Poplar Grove Utility officials to discuss a partnership through which the natural gas system would be upgraded.

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