CMUD wants to raise water rates to keep up with growth

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities stated it will have to raise water rates over the next few years to keep up with growth.
 
Before City Council on Wednesday, CMUD officials will lay out a future budget involving ballooning debt and operating costs.                   
 
CMUD stated in 2005 its annual revenue requirements were $178 million. This year, it’s $319 million and, by 2021, projected to be $484 million.
 
Since the utility receives no tax dollars, it has to get the money from customers. The report points out a major problem in that regard.
 
The number of customers is growing, but per capita usage is decreasing. The utility has to pay for new service and maintain the old system with less cash.
 
Its suggested remedy is a “consistent, modest rate increase” in the coming years.
 
CMUD officials declined to comment before the budget presentation Wednesday, but taxpayers have their opinions.                     
 
“If they allocate funds in the right direction, they can work it out,” said Cherry McKoy. “We pay enough as it is.”
 
“If it goes up 2 or 3 percent, that’s just a fact of life to me,” said Tommy Singer.
 
CMUD will give council scenarios to raise revenue that vary from 2 to 5 percent increases in future years.
                               
CMUD just raised rates in July. The utility argues its fees are still some of the cheapest in the Carolinas.

Read past coverage:  CMUD pushing for another rate increase