City of Bonifay Plans to Increase Utility Fees

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BONIFAY-- Bonifay officials are looking to raise money to pay for maintenance costs. On Tuesday, they discussed raising the county's water and sewage fees.

Complaints from residents likely won't stop city leaders from moving forward with the increase. Bonifay residents may soon see a small increase on their upcoming water and sewage bills. During a recent council meeting, members discussed a 3% per year increase for the two utilities for the next 3 years.

"Judging from the cost of operating the system, we just looked at our figures and it was time that we made an adjustment on that. It will go in a general fund to operate the system," said Mayor Lawrence Cloud.

Water rates for residents within the city limits will go up $1 per 2,000 gallons. Rates outside the city limits will go up by $1.93.

Sewer rates will go up nearly $3 for every 5,000 gallons. Outside city limits, the increase will be $3.50.

City leaders expect the higher rates to bring in an extra $1,800 a month.

Some residents say regardless of how much the increase will be, it’s still additional money out of their pockets.

"I don't know why they wanna increase it, even if it is a dollar,” said Alice Pippins. “I been to the council board meeting. You know, it’s our hard working money that we're out here doing."

This will be Bonifay’s first utility fee increase since 2011. City leaders say they had no choice.

"It's just about necessary to do it, you know, we just bout have to do it cause that's about---water and sewage are our only, only revenue that we get. We don't have ad valorem tax in the City of Bonifay," explained Cloud.

If the city council passes the higher fee at their next meeting, the increase will take effect in October.