Proposed water rate hike in Hopewell

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) – Hopewell residents may have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay their water bills.

The company that provides the service has filed a request to increase rates by 33 percent. Residents and business owners aren't happy about the possible hike.

"It's definitely going to hurt our pocketbooks," said Ravon Allen,

Allen is hair stylist. She and her colleagues use plenty of water on the job.

"You have to shampoo hair before you can service them," said Allen.

Virginia American Water is looking to increase rates by 33 percent. So if your quarterly bill is about $50 it could jump by $16.50. The additional revenue, in part, will help pay for a 25 million dollar plant expansion and improvement project.

"This will allow us to increase from 12 million gallons per day to 18 million gallons per day. We're already at 80 percent capacity and if we get another 100,000 people - how do we accommodate that -- we have to be able too -- we're talking about fire protection as well," said Virginia American Water Spokesperson, David Barney.

Although the State Corporation Commission will make a final decision on the proposed rate hike by the end of this year, Virginia American Water says it will implement the increase in August then, reimburse residents if the SCC denies the rate hike.

"We asked for 33 percent that doesn't mean the SCC will give us 33 percent. Even with a rate increase water is still about a penny per gallon," said Barney.

The water company says public sessions will be held on the proposed hike. Dates, locations and times for those sessions have yet to be set.

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