Jeffco sewer users worried over possible rate increase

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A rate consultant has recommended a 6.7% sewer rate increase for Jefferson County. Sewer customers say they are already feeling the budget pain. "This month I paid 92 dollars on sewer bill. Water bill is not but 30 dollars. I don't think that is right," Martez McDonald said.
          
Fox6 asked Lawauya White what she was paying. "Like $150. Sewer just sewer," White said.
         
The average sewer bill in Jefferson Co. is $63. The rate increase would add $4.22 a month or $50.64 a year. Sewer customers don't like it. "Oh it's extremely high. For them to consider going up, that's ridiculous. The sewer bill is twice as much as the water bill," Gloria Jones said.
             
"I don't think they need to go up any more," Macklon Stewart said

After seeing the report from Rafetelis Financial Consultants, Commissioner Shelia Smoot refuses to go along with it. "I'm only one vote down here. But the vote will not go to a six point seven percent or any increase for folks on this system," Smoot said.
         
Jefferson County Commissioners are being sued by a New York bank to force the appointment of a receiver over the sewer department. This may eventually force the increase. "I don't know what a receiver would do but come in here and raise rates to an awful amount," Bettye Fine Collins, Jefferson County Commission President said.
           
Commissioner Jim Carns, who oversees the sewer department, has no plans to bring the recommendation out of his committee despite the receiver threat. "It's always the sky is falling and the building will fall on you if you don't do this. Later I find out the building is pretty secure," Carns said.