***updated 9:20 p.m., August 1, 2017***
WALSTONBURG, N.C. (WNCT) – About a dozen people showed up for Tuesday night’s meeting at the Walstonburg Town Hall, where town officials answered questions and explained why the rates for water and sewage bills recently went up.
Town commissioners voted to purchase a flow meter and a remote monitoring system to track sewage flow, which they admit has been a problem in the past. They hope to have equipment in place by the end of August.
WALSTONBURG, N.C. (WNCT) — Frustrated residents in Walstonburg plan to gather Tuesday evening at the commissioners meeting to voice their concerns over high water bills.
In the last few months, residents of the town have seen their water rates double.
“Our water and sewer fund is well in the hole because we have a lot of infiltration getting into our sewer lines,” said Commissioner Roy Holloman.
Residents who chose to comment off-camera say with high utilities in the summer, a high water bill is an added expense some can’t afford.
Holloman said after talking with local government, they have no other choice.
“They said you gotta raise your rates,” said Holloman. “If you don’t, we are going to come in and raise them for you.”
Holloman said he doesn’t want to do it.
“I apologize to the people of Walstonburg for having to raise rates,” Holloman said.
In a note dated June 29, the town did alert residents to a future raise. They also held a water conservation session led by Greene County Cooperative Extension Agent Shelina Bonner
“I asked them have they ever heard their toilet running after they flushed it for a few minutes and a lot of them said ‘yes,’” said Bonner. “And when you hear those things, those are signs that you are going to have a higher bill.”
Holloman says this is not permanent
“To bring engineers in to fix the problem completely we are talking years, unfortunately, but we are going to do what we can to get the rates back down as quickly as possible,” Holloman said.
In Tuesday night’s meeting, Holloman plans to propose a new metered water system, which is designed to help keep costs down.
The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m.