Another Henrico utility rate increase under consideration - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Another Henrico utility rate increase under consideration

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Henrico County leaders are considering adding another five-percent increase onto resident's utility bills. Some of that money will go towards major projects, like building the Cobbs Creek Reservoir.

"Everything is expensive, everything is going up," said Joyce Magorian. Joyce and her husband are retired and live on a fixed income.

For an average family of four, this means they could be paying about $7.10 more for their bimonthly bill. While it may not seem like much, that's about $42 extra each year.

"$42 is a lot to some people and some people it's just pocket money," said William Baker. 

We took these neighbors' concerns to the assistant director of public utilities, Bill Mawyer.

"Clearly everyone has challenges paying their bills," says Mawyer. "That's why we don't generate any profits.  All of our revenues go to pay the actual expenses we have.  We try to keep them as inexpensive as possible

There are also future projects that need funding, including replacing piping in the county. Mawyer says for every one mile of piping the estimated cost to replace it is $1 million.

Another major project: the Cobbs Creek Reservoir.  The Department of Public Utilities says going to cost about $280 million and won't be complete for at least another decade, but the reservoir will supply water to the county for the next 50 years.

"Our rates are purely based on our expenses," said Mawyer.

The Board of Supervisors still needs approve this rate increase.  If it gets the vote, the increase could start in July.

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