CFPUA discussing where to apply five-percent rate hike

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Submitted: Wed, 03/14/2012 - 8:22pm
Updated: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:55pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new year will mean more money on your Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Bill. But is an increase worth it or just money down the drain?

The CFPUA Board today discussed how to apply a five-percent increase to fees for water and sewer services. That would average out to about six dollars more on your bi-monthly bill.

The board discussed the increase at today’s meeting, but it will not be applied to bills until July. Members say the increase is to pay for projects in Wilmington that were part of the 2012 budget, like the 3rd Street Improvement Project.

Although many customers have complained about rate increases, no one signed up to speak at today’s public hearing. CFPUA Board members say the lack of opposition makes them feel like they’re on the right track.

“That tells me one of two things: either they don’t care, or they think we’re doing a good job, and they understand that the rate increases that we’ve had to implement were something that was needed and not something that came from a whim by this board,” CFPUA Board member and Wilmington City Councilman Charlie Rivenbark said.

Rivenbark says he knows not everyone is pleased with the increase, but those people do not usually show up to voice their opinion to the board.


  • Brian says:

    Wait, they want to raise rates but they don’t know where they want to use the extra cash? If they don’t already know where the funds are needed, then I say that they don’t need to raise rates. I’d have been at the meeting to speak if I knew that the meeting was going to take place.

  • Fed Up! says:

    There are focus such as myself may not herd about the meeting. Sometimes flyers, newspapers and public announce need to come to play. Most of the time is seems as though these organization pray that service receivers never show up. The city water and electricity have sent many to the poor house and no one seems to care. No one has invited their attention to the fact that the Natural Gas Company charge an extra $10.00 per month because they can; when the reason for this charge, they at the raleigh city hung up and refuse to give me, the customer a response…; what are going to do about this? The employment situaticn is deplorable when poor blacks concern and education or willingness to address various concerns becomes an in the box for those individuals. It is scary to be located in a city who cares nothing for despite the fact you are willing to work hard to pay your on way, yet willing to sacrfice for others in need. I can believe I have suffered the disappointsments and let downs from those who new my capabilities, drive, determination and sacrifice for my family and others, yet I have become a mockery in their eyes and not a person the feel deserve any type of assistance. I have continued despite effort underwent trails of homelessness and yet, you still can’t recieve any type of help. So why should the city and the state continue to allow these companies drain sigle families and and others with ill income to the streets? For what is a man that gain the world and looses his soul. When will people as an individual be respected and rejected due color, income, and promince. When will we ask for the voice and views of the commen folks? The we allow companies to enter into the city with high cost for services or goods, the economy will continue to backslide and adevtually deplete. For the consumers are the commen folks with fixed income. As a result: the city will continue to be hit with high cost of homelessness with less chance of revenue or residual replacing spenitures. These shelters that fraud the city and government with costly chargers to live there. $56.00 give or take is extremly to much for a hommeless person with limited to no income to pay; but if you don’t, they have no problem kicking you out… what are going to do about this? The food they serve is like something you would feed your dogs: it’s old, very old without any thought of it being served from the heart. Case Manager who only wants to know your business has never made any advocacy on our part for housing, place of employment mainly if you are black. they show favortism men verse the women with men having opportunity of gaining monies for survival;could care less about the single parent who has children..and I can go on and on. Like when we going to make these employers accountable for how they some of us for example: company’s who have a potiental employee on hold(that’s after they stated they were hiring you)and they never call you back and when you finally reach them, they smirk through phone and say,”OH, we are not going to hire right now, this after you have jumped through hoops to gain the position, and delivered all documents they’ve asked you to give…just to find out they were being very mean; how does these compay expects many of its customers to pay their bills without falling short. Wilmington, N.C. Has really disappointed inmore ways than one. It was a time when I’d lived in other states Iwould bragg about the natured folks today, I’m definitely not sure any more!

  • Carey Disney Ricks says:

    1. CFPUA did not discuss if or how to use the additional 5% of funds. The 5% was decided last year as needed revenue to cover a bond sale vetted and voted on last year. What was discussed was how to apply the rate increase within the rate structure; would the volume charges go up, would the fixed costs go up, would there be any changes to the tier structure itself etc. What was decided was to apply the 5% to the fixed water cost and to the sewer volume. Again, this is a rate increase voted on, publicized, reported on etc last year that has not yet gone into effect ut is now being talked about because it has an impact on next fiscal year’s budget.
    2. ALL CFPUA rate increases (this 5% will make the 4th) have gone to fund projects inherited from the City and County, or those discovered by CFPUA as critical. Each year CFPUA employees have cut the operating budget by more than $15M.

  • Guest Reply says:

    A 5% pay cut for the big money making CEO’s will fix it…I promise you!

  • guesty says:

    From the story: “That tells me one of two things: either they don’t care, or they think we’re doing a good job,….”

    No, it means we are smart enough to know it would be a complete waste of time to talk to you blockheads. Just like city council, you will do as you please and screw anybody that doesn’t like it.

  • Guest123456 says:

    You don’t listen, so what’s the point? I was raised to not spend money if you don’t have it, apparently you were not. If only you realized how dumb it is to charge people a $25 basic customer fee then $6 for two months of water use. Can’t you take a hint? We’re cutting back to keep from paying you more for a service not provided. When people leave NHC because they can’t afford the charges for the services, who will fund your projects then? It sure makes more sense to scale back projects and build your customer base before you commit more funds than what you have. There’s lots of opposition – people are just choosing to show it in ways other than by wasting time arguing with you when you don’t listen.

  • Guest234234 says:

    Congratulations on scheduling a meeting in the middle of the day when people don’t attend meetings then patting yourself on the back because no one disagrees with you. Even our errant commissioners schedule their meetings in the evenings so people can attend. Ha! You must be so proud.

  • Guesturwrong says:

    Gov employees have had an increase. Some State Workers are going on 5 yrs without a raise.

  • WilmMan says:

    Did the big man at CFPUA not just get a huge raise within the past 2 years…which came right after their last big rate hike? As far as the gas prices go, that is a national problem but believe me I’ve limited my travels because of it. The problem with the water issue is you really can’t limit your consumption especially considering we are charged a certain amount no matter how little water we use. Also, I had a water line break leading into my house and it took them over two hours to get to my house. I decided not to wait and cut the main line off myself after 45min and all they could say to me was I can get in legal trouble for doing that. And to top it all off guess what else happened. My water bill was extremely high thanks to that break. I could only imagine what it would have been like if i waited the full 2 hours for them to arrive.

  • Robert Green says:

    But what good would it do to voice opposition to this quasi-government agency that does not have to be accountable to the citizens.Also,most people have to work during the day therefore it is safe to assume that public participation would be poor.Unless you are an Obama welfare recipient( usually not concerned about any economic issues)or a retiree, expect poor attendance into the foreseeable future.Is there any history of sincerely taking into account the wishes of the public thus far and restraining yourselves from your continued onslaught of rate increases ? I understand the city and county’s infrastructure is in a very poor state due to the short-sighted politicians from the past, including Charlie Rivenbark, who neglected our community.I understand the establishment of the “Water Nazis” to take the heat off of local leaders.Local leaders who could say,” look folks no tax increases”.

  • Dead lawn this summer.... says:

    Who did you expect to speak up? The working man/woman who can’t leave work to come argue about why they can’t afford to pay more every few months? People want to speak up but at the same time what are their options? It’s not like satellite and cable where we can choose to go with someone else. People don’t think you’re doing a good job. People think there is nothing they can do because people need water regardless of what you do to the rates…. which exactly why you do whatever you want to the rates and justify it however necessary. The board thinks people agree with them… no people have to go to WORK so they can pay your bill… so let’s set up the public hearing for a Wednesday morning when anyone who opposes us can’t come and we can spin it into a POSITIVE sign for us!

  • WriteRight says:

    Duh! Good call Dead. I’m considering missing some mortgage payments so I can maybe “take advantage” of one of the five FAILED Mao Tse Bama mortgage programs(see story of American flag/Obama face). Don’t worry CFPUA. I’ll continue to struggle to pay ALL my obligations because that is who I am! This has got to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, right? But oh no, those humps are for water. I wonder which flush of the toilet will break mine…

  • Guest2u says:

    Get Real – more increases?????
    CFPUA continually raises rates and (wages/bonuses).

    If they are going to raise rates, then put that money aside to pay for the water accounts of those that have had their services cut-off.

    STOP putting the burden of your finances on the backs of the water customers and the taxpayers. Why should we continue to “bale-out” YOUR financial situations. CFPUA – GROW UP and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

    Having to rely of the County funds/events and customers/taxpayers is just plain ol’ IRRESPONSIBLE.

  • numbtothenoise says:

    Exactly what “raises and bonuses” are you talking about? Pay your 3.79 a gallon for gas and get your facts straight! How many gallons of water does that get? Remember ALL OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IN THE AREA have had “raises and bonuses” not the employees of CFPUA who take your verbal sewage daily and still find a way to be at your door when your toilet overflows. Get a clue. These people live here too.

  • cintrek says:

    We didn’t show because it doesn’t matter to you if we oppose or not you’re going to raise the rates anyhow. Besides some have to work more so we can afford to pay the rate hikes and still be able to eat.

  • Sucker says:

    How about NO ONE is happy with another rate hike. Let me clue you guys in on why no one signed up to speak about the rate increase – IT DOESN’T MATTER IF WE PROTEST OR NOT, WE WILL STILL GET SOCKED WITH ANOTHER RATE HIKE. Government run wild once again, with ZERO accountability to the citizens. I think we have seen enough gouging rate hikes for a lifetime since this authority was put into place.

  • Guest2020 says:

    The county is proposing a telethon for those who already have trouble paying and these idiots are raising their rates? Maybe the county should either take over the public utilities, or hold this company accountable for its spending.

    And the others are right, if you truly want public input into a situation, you need to schedule a meeting during a time that they can actually attend and that is not the middle of a weekday. I have a feeling they rigged it this way just so they could say that no one showed up. They need to get their heads out of the sand so they can see what is going on in the real world.

  • Guest of Charlie Rivenbark says:

    Way to go CFPUA!! Keep up the fantastic work! Raise the rates 500% and force out the unwanteds and less desirables. Lets get some decent folks back into Wilmington.

    Keep up the good work and raise away baby…Raise away!

  • Citizen of the Republic says:

    It seems that the meeting was convened at an inopportune time for regular folks.

    Cfpua seems to think everything is ok, just peachy keen.

    Recent comments appear to disagree with that assessment.

    Don’t elect anyone to more than 1 term.

    The country is screwed up because of career politicians from both parties.

    Vote them out.

  • Deb says:

    I recently seen where some fund raiser was going to be held to help they people that have had their water shut off. Now another increase. Most of the people that have their water shut off are the elderly and disabled that when the city was in charge got a discount. CFPUA comes in and takes away the discount and not those people are the ones without water or trying to figure out how to pay a water bill, rent, elect.,food, etc on $600 a month if they are lucky. Get real people, how many more increases before more people have no water and you are not getting a penny. Thank goodness I have my own well, but I have family within the city that goes without food to pay a water bill that seems to go up every time you turn around.

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