Bayside Utility Wants to Hike Rates

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Bay County commissioners took up the issue during Tuesday’s meeting, but they say Bayside Utility's rate hike request is ridiculous.

Three years ago Bayside Utilities raised some customers’ rates more than 200 percent. They raised them again last year, and now they're asking the county to approve another 70 percent rate hike.

Historically, the utility has raised their rates with a promise to improve the system. Instead, residents say they see a pattern of rate hikes and deteriorating service.

"We're already paying three times what everyone else is that uses the same facilities. We have a middleman in between that's pocketing profits. The facilities are broken down, inept, illegal and a hazard to health."

Last month commissioners decided not to buy out Bayside Utility, saying the asking price was way out of line. They suggested Bayside customers petition the county to be deleted from the service area.

Since the meeting, only one developer has requested deletion.

Commissions gave the go-ahead for their attorney to hold a hearing and consider Grand Palms petition to be serviced by another company, but as for the rest of the residents, commissioners say they too will have to file a petition before the county can do anything.

The county attorney is asking that all petitions be e-mailed to W.C. Henry at If you have further questions, you can contact the county office at 784-4013.