Fleming-Neon residents will see rising costs after the first in-person city council meeting since March.
In separate votes, the council unanimously voted to approve the second reading of a 3 percent sewer rate hike and the first reading of a $1 increase to the sanitation rate for households. Both matters were discussed at the March meeting and the first reading for the sewer rate hike took place then. The council will conduct the second reading of the rate hike for sanitation fees at its next meeting on Tuesday, June 16.
Water rates were increased by three percent two years ago as part of an agreement with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to increase rates that allowed the city to receive the necessary funding to rehabilitate the water and sewer systems. The three percent rate increase for sewer users will take effect on July 1, and will raise the base rate from $15.86 to $16.86 for the first 2,000 gallons. The rate will go up from $5.51 to $5.75 for every additional 1,000 gallons. The council also voted to initiate an automatic 3 percent annual rate increase on water and sewer bills. The deposit for new water customers will also be raised to $50. Existing customers who previously paid a deposit of $25 will be billed for the additional fee only if they make a change to the name of the person responsible for the bill.
The increase in sanitation rates is in response to an increase in landfill tipping fees from the Letcher County Fiscal Court, city officials said. The increase also reflects a $5,000 loss in the Sanitation Department in 2019. Each household will have a cost increase of $1, from $15 to $16.
In other business, the council conducted the first reading of the budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 for the city and for the Water and Sewer Department. The city’s budget has revenues of $260,254.16 against expenditures of $259,415.54. The sewer budget for 2020-2021 is $263,395 against expenditures of $261,395. The water budget has revenue of $396,792, against expenditures of $375,174.
The council voted unanimously to provide the option for on-line bill payment for water bills. Council members also discussed road conditions on Abdoo Street. Mayor Susie Polis said she will have the worst of the potholes filled with gravel until the state Department of Mines and Minerals fulfills its promise to repair the road.