Possible Water Rate Hike in Jacksonville because of Less Consumption

JEA: Decline In Consumption To Blame For Possible Rate Hike

Water Rate Hike Looms For JEA Customers and IT IS SPREADING TO ALL OVER FLA IN EVERY DISTRICT

POSTED: Tuesday, March 17, 2009
UPDATED: 1:06 am EDT March 18, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Keeping the faucet off and taking shorter showers may soon cost Jacksonville residents extra.JEA said it is considering a water rate hike that would essentially have consumers paying more money for doing their part to conserve.The reason behind the possible rate hike is a decline in consumption.Many residents in Duval County have seen advertisements, including the one from the St. Johns River Water Management District in partnership with JEA, preaching restrictions and water conservation.Everyone is expected do their part to conserve water, but a JEA representative said the utility’s revenue is down and people using less water is the reason.”We have fewer housing starts and less people moving into this area. There are a lot of reason we’re seeing a decline in our revenue,” said JEA spokeswoman Geri Boyce.JEA’s decline in revenue will most likely result in a higher JEA bill for many consumers. Depending on how much water consumers use every month, they could pay 10 percent more.The proposal of a rate increase has many Jacksonville residents upset and concerned.”I’m very worried about it. The average consumer can’t afford another rate increase,” said consumer Peggy Thrift.”It is a matter of balance between people saving this water source and us being able to pay for fixed cost for delivering that service,” Boyce said. “It’s up to us to make sure our customers have clean water – regardless of how many customers we have, our costs remain the same.”Boyce said JEA would hold a public hearing on May 19 to consider an increase in water and sewage rates.

 Leonard
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