Hundreds May See Sewage Rate Hike

About 435 residents will see an increase in their sewage bill if an ordinance to raise Cameron’s sewage rates by 30 percent is approved by the city.

Cameron City Council passed the first reading of the ordinance by a 3-2 vote, with councilwoman Helen McMasters absent at the time of the vote. The ordinance states sewage customers paying a minimum bill of $30.86 for 2,000 gallons of water a month see an increase of $9.26 on their bill.

The ordinance would also raise a reconnection fee from $25 to $50.

Beresford said the city has not calculated the increased revenue the city would receive if the hike is approved, but said the 30 percent increase is in compliance with recommendations from the Public Service Commission of West Virginia.

The increase would help cover the costs of a renovation of the Cameron Sewage Disposal Plant that took place 13 years ago.

Beresford first mentioned the possibility of a sewage hike in June after the city discovered via a public service audit its rates were not sufficient to cover operating costs and its debt service for the sewage plant.

“The last time Cameron had a sewage hike was in 2003,” Beresford said. “We originally thought we would increase the rates gradually, but we have to do it all at once to pay for the renovation.”

According to Beresford, the ordinance will be available for the public to view and residents will have the opportunity to speak on the matter at the second reading of the ordinance at council’s Oct. 21 meeting.

In other business, council went into executive session for about 35 minutes on a legal matter. No decisions were made, according to Beresford.