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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.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest6969696969

    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?

  • john sandlin

    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

  • Guest

    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!!!!!

  • taxpayeriam

    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.

  • Guest1966

    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!!!

  • Guest3230

    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?

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