CFPUA customers will see a rate hike soon

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Submitted: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 4:29am
Updated: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 9:35pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — You might want to think twice before letting the water run. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is raising rates.

The authority held its first of two work sessions in downtown Wilmington Wednesday night to discuss the best way to hike up those rates.

Customers are not happy about the increases, but only two people came out to discuss their thoughts and concerns to the board.

With a nearly $6 million debt, aging infrastructure and a growing community the CFPUA’s rates are going up.

“If our taxes were going up and New Hanover County Commissioners said our taxes are going up 15 percent people would be beating the doors down complaining about it, and this affects our pocketbook in the same way,” said Chad O’Shields, who lives in New Hanover County and runs a blog critical of the CFPUA. “They’re going to go up this year. They will go up next year and they got to keep going up to cover this debt.”

One resident says the upcoming rate increase is a result of poor budget planning. Currently the CFPUA rates are based on a tier system. Some customers with large families say it’s unfair, because the authority uses higher rates if you use more water in an effort to get people to conserve water.

“The question is do we just do across the board with everybody gets the same percentage rate adjustment or do we change the structure where we still generate the same revenues but some customers get a higher adjustment than other customers do?” said Daryll Parker, who made Wednesday night’s presentation and is with the Utility Advisors’ Network.

The board discussed four different rate options at the workshop with rate increases ranging anywhere from 15 percent to 33 percent. Many customers say they want a uniform rate structure that gives every customer a flat rate regardless of how much you use, but experts say that’s not necessarily the best option.

“If you make that structural change now, just that structure change itself will push the revenue burden onto the lower use and middle use customers,” Parker said.

The average customer in our area uses 9,000 gallons of water every two months and ends up with a total bill of a around $100. The board may not choose to change its structure at all, but bottom line is customers will have to get used to a higher bill very soon.

The CFPUA says its current rate structure is consistent with industry standards.

The board’s second work session is scheduled for March 9 at 6 p.m.


  • taxpayeriam says:

    The number of users on cfpua divided into $6 million would not
    require a permeate rate increase or Wilmington should pay up because problem is in the cities old system,not in the county,wilmington having them replace old lines which should have been done with the the tax money that is going into building and buying up land.Our newly elected state legislature told the mayor and counsel they needed to get their priorities straight,and refused to give them the money for I have to have stuff.Wilmington reduce salaries and cut loss some of the good oldboys,pay the cfpua with the money.When you are taking 60% of budget salaries and the remainder for pet projects
    there is nothing left to replace or repair anything with pushing the cost to the county residents.You boosted that you had a 100,000 city residents see if they will give $60.00 dollars apiece that would clear up the $6 million cfpua says it needs, that the town owes for shifting the cost of repairs to the county residents.Shame on you wilmington.Is cfpua going to cut the increase after they get the $6 million or keep picking our pockets.Do the math or is the the way for the pet projects to get free utility supplied like the new convention center.The number of users on cfpua divided into $6 million would not
    require a permeate rate increase.

  • Guest says:

    Quit whining about a rate hike….all I hear lately is “if this was privitized or if that was privitized or if the governmnent would get out of our lives how much better thing would be”, well the government
    (City of Wilmington)got out of the water business and you’re still belly-aching, you can’t have it both ways, so pay your water bill to this private company and shut up!!!!!

  • john sandlin says:

    i would like to know how the new hanover county commishners could give away the federally funded water system in flemington to the cfpu.the county may have put up some money but most of it came from the federal goverment to fix the water they polluted with the landfill.then after the cfpu took over they started charging us a sewer charge we dont even have sewer in flemington my brother called them about this and then they thought they were being slick and moved the charge to the back of the bill so they thought we would not see it they must think we are stupid.the hole prosess was all a bunch of shady dealing and should be investagated the cfpu and the nhcc and the city of wilmington

  • Guest6969696969 says:

    As a Long-time resident of Wilmington, Something joggled My memory, about the time I was building,( I was a laborer), with McDevvit & street from Caharoltte then… 1985? When “Gloria threatened our coast”, or was it a year or 2 after?

    i wish someone with the Fiduciary Duty, and then then City Counciel, (which i’ll bey donuts that some of the same “plyers are still around),< ---, of knowing how too do a search & such needed to see these BONDS, which I "suspect" were all Issued when the treatment center on 23rd street was built.... A FOIA request if you will on this 6 million in debt.... I remember Correctly, STAR NEWS I Challenge you to check your Archives, that a very successful plan was put and ENACTED, which the engineering was to install "SHEATHS", a pipe-with-in a pipe if you will....To be able to withstand another XX amount of years the pipes would hold up, (city/county water mains).... There was NO MENTION then... of *wooden* water pipes then, it was said that they were made rom clay "upstate", that in fact STAR NEWS had numerous stories about Our Brick streets and such, Made from this "Clay Fired" Products from "upstate", with-holding the test of time.... it's all in Star news Archives... Our Water mains were "supposed to been fixed NOT THAT LONG Ago by inserting "Sheaths" of pipe too increase the life of said water main, but also to make it STRONGER, and also CHEAPER, to just insert aforementioned pipe, as the "ductwork", (Water mains), was already in place....To keep from digging everything up/replacing everything? etc.... A Company came along, with a Idea, of inserting new pipes with-in the Old ones.. WHAT HAPPENED? With that MONEY? WAS the work completed? ***NOW** I challenge WWAY, to get those files via FOIA act request. Were those lines installed? Why are WE still hearing about "wooden" Water-Mains? Or bursting Pipes as the "sheathed" pipes were NOT supposed to do so? That they, in addition were able to handle higher water Pressure's?..... 6 million in BONDS,, whom were they issued by and on what TERMS, for our NEW Treatment plant? Is THAT the BILL? PAY &

        of, and on TOP on the “top Heavy Management?”
        Any former City Council Members on that “board”, I wonder….
        If their are, Double-Dipping Pensions, I wonder Whom in this county does….
        We wonder why our local.GOV, Government is “broken”.

        Dear Reader and WWAY….
        i can understand a few “sewer-overflows during HEAVY rain events, We experience here on the coast….
        To the City/County Officials of the PAST AND PREASENT…..
        WHY, Were you to dumbfounded and blind-folded, or as MOST of you are REALTORS AND lawyers that cannot connect the DOTS X + Y = Z that the MORE you build homes, Strip Malls, and HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS, that a IMPACT FEE should been required? More, Pump Stations be built? (Hewett’s creek as example), Or that you’ve DE-FRAUD-ED MILLIONS of dollars in “recording FEES” Breaking the chain of Property Title & Mortgage, in New Hanover/Brunswick /pender Counties? AKA……

        While WE they Citizens have to pay for you CORRUPTION and Mistakes?
        I want to know, where were or did that money go, or how much work was completed on that pipe project years ago…..
        WHATS THE INTEREST’S on the 6 million dollar “BOND”?Currently held and BY WHOM?

  • Guest3230 says:

    How about to morons (Wilmington & NHC) who dumped the problem to a “Dragon who has no slayer” (ie:CFPUA) pay the authority 3 million apiece and leave the taxpayer alone. They knew what they were doing, hands washed and don’t care. What’s new?

  • Guest1966 says:

    I feel for you good folks. CFPUA raised their rates twice in the first two months of 2010, and I saw the writing on the wall, I moved, and not just out of Wilmington, I moved out of North Carolina! Good Luck, to all of you!!!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    Your cheap water is being subsidized by large families and businesses that use more water.

    Why should YOU get water below cost, while your neighbor down the street with more people in the house pays twice as much per gallon?

    Just like the electric company that charges you by the kWh, a unit of water (gallon, hundred gallons, whatever) should cost exactly the same for EVERYONE.

  • Guest69696969 says:

    To quote comments not made here, but from another news source, SN-online..
    Under a uniform rate structure, where all users pay the same rate for their water, the effects of a rate increase would be concentrated among low- to medium-use customers, which comprise more than 87 percent of customers, the consulting company’s Daryll Parker told the commissioners.

    In other words, customers who use 9,000 gallons bimonthly – the average for Wilmington, the consultants said – would see combined water and sewer rate increases of between 20 percent and 25 percent while the highest users would see their bills go up less than 15 percent, Parker said. In fact, users of 50,000 gallons or more over two months could actually see their rates drop, he added.

    In other words people who use MORE water, like business’s would see their rates DROP while the person living by themselves,On a FIXED INCOME, that uses LESS THAN 500 to 1000 gallons per month will see rates go up 25+%?
    There’s something really wrong with this picture….
    I really would like to see the debt structure of those “BONDS”, or debt, to see if OUR Citizens have been “snookered”, look NO further than Jefferson Co. Alabama & JP Morgan With bonds and debt, what they ROBBED that county of in “water Improvments”…
    Everyone NEEDS to go to this “second” meeting, the people need to SPEAK-UP!
    We’ve all been told, time & time again, TO “CONSERVE WATER”, which should result in SAVINGS in treating waste-water/treatment etc…
    Now WE as CITIZEN’S are getting the SHAFT with-out lube for higher water rates!
    Egypt coming soon to Wilmington NC? It sure will look like in the near future, If our CORRUPT city/county/Quasi/Gov-water Co.
    Keep on the track they are going…..

  • Guest says:

    How is it not fair to pay the same rate per gallon if you have 6 people in a house compared to 1.
    Yes you said it exactly, you pay for what you use and that should be the end of it. You should not have to pay more once you use what some bureaucrat decides is too much.
    Is your electric bill tiered? No, You pay per KWH. You do not pay more per KWH once you go over a certain amount.
    Why should I pay more for water just because I have a Wife and 2 kids compared to someone who is single, that is asinine.

  • Guest461 says:

    It simply isn’t fair for a person that is single and uses 2000 gal/mth to pay the same rates as a family of six that uses 10,000 gal/mth, that would be assinine! You pay for what you use and the same for the sewer. That’s the way it’s done at CB, the more you use, the more you pay. Makes you think three times before washing your car or watering your lawn everyday!

  • Wade griffis says:

    Why should anybody leave their water running? When you wash dishes, you soap them up, and then rinse them all at the same time. When you wash your car, same solution.

    Do you need a pristine green lawn, or is it about ego?

    Grass will grow if it rains.

  • rocketdog says:

    which is why should a single person who is trying to conserve water pay a higher rate than a 6 person family? How in the world did they come up with this stupid idea??? People should be rewarded for their conservation efforts, not thumped in the pocketbook!! Charge a flat rate per gallon and let it ride, if somebody wants to irrigate everyday they can pay for it. If they install low-flow faucets and toilets good for them, they use less and pay less.
    This stupid AUTHORITY is really in need of serious oversight.

  • taxpayeriam says:

    How much of this $6 million debt comes from the build of the inter- structure to supply the new convention center,that was not to us any tax dollars.

  • Shannon says:

    It seems as though we have had nothing but issues with our water since CFPUA took over. Is anyone comparing what this company is doing with what the previous did? Their titled positions don’t seem to be taking a pay cut to offset these huge debts. I can’t help but think that someone is getting a payoff somewhere for this company. Our elected officials need to fight for better rates and better service or get CFPUA the hell out of our county.

  • monkeygrip says:

    WTF, my bill is already higher than my power. Maybe I should move.

  • Middle Sound says:

    How about this, I’m not paying another CFPUA bill until you fix our roads you destroyed running sewer lines. Plus, we still do not have water service. Rate hike for what? More nothing? Provide a service and we’ll all start paying again.

  • Guest says:

    It really doesnt make any since why they are raising the rates again. They just id it a couple months ago and a couple months before that. my bill when from 80 to 200 dollars a month and they dont even check my meter i know because they would have to dig it up. The CFPUA is a scam and how they bill people is illegal.

  • Guestion says:

    Nobody showed up because just like saffo no matter what you say the rates will go up no matter what you do cause the suites won’t take a pay cut, they have a monopoly on water and sewer if there was another service I would use it cause they’re billing would be right. You would be charged for what you use not what they want to charge. A empty lot and they will send a bill as if there was still a building there and they will fight you on your empty lot, I have witness it.

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