By Louie Graves
Nashville residents will see a modest water rate hike effective July 1.
City council members wrestled with the idea of a hike and a pair of projects April 25 before voting 10-1 in favor.
The projects will be financed by bond sales, and the city will fold a remaining bond debt into the new payout.
The new projects include a safety project in which the city doesn’t store tanks of chlorine gas, but makes it as needed by a natural process. The project also includes a connection line for Nashville’s second-largest water customer, Nashville Rural Water.
Mayor Billy Ray Jones said that in 2006 the city
said it would look at incremental raises in rate hikes every two years, but that was never done. The new hike is approximately 5%, and exact rates can be seen in a public notice elsewhere in this newspaper issue.
For example, a small household might use 3,000 gallons of water per month. Their new bill before taxes would be $13.49, up from $12.85. That amount does not include sanitation or garbage pickup fees.
Public Works Director Larry Dunaway explained the hike and the project to the city council, during his lengthy report on projects currently underway, completed or nearing start. Voting against the requests for the rate increase and the bond financing was Alderman Matt Smith.
Dunaway told the council that paving projects were completed until future grants permit a new round. He said that the four completed projects included several streets which had undergone many cuts. Total cost of the project was $237,354.
He also said that the city was getting ready to ‘go to bid’ on a sidewalk along Mt. Pleasant drive linking Polk Street on the north to Leslie Street. A major hurdle will be the uneven intersection of Leslie and Mt. Pleasant. The city will probably host a public meeting on a proposed sidewalk connecting Fourth Street to the city park. Dunaway said that preliminary inquiries had found opposition of residents on Johnson Street, the originally proposed route. The council did approve a resolution allowing the city to apply for grants to fund the projects.
The city is also looking into projects which would permit moving the stoplight at Walmart. The light is owned by the city, but Walmart designated the site. Mayor Billy Ray Jones told the council that the highway department would not permit moving the light unless Buck Range Road met Highway 27 Business at a ‘right’ angle. Buck Range Road is a county road, and the mayor is owner of property on which the road would need to be adjusted.