Petersburg's new budget includes water bill increase, eliminatio - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Petersburg's new budget includes water bill increase, elimination of jobs

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

Petersburg City Council approved its 2018 budget late Tuesday night, which includes outsourcing jobs. More than a dozen city workers are expected to lose their jobs as a result.

Neighbors will also pay more for their water service, following an increase in water rates.

If your normal water bill is $54.84, your bill could go up by $16.24 to $71.07. Petersburg leaders say the 14.3 percent increase on utility bills is necessary to help with repairs and upgrades of meters and to assist with billing/collections. This hike will be in effect through Jan. 2018.

During the meeting, a Petersburg official showed photos of old, rusty pipes and inadequate storage conditions to paint a picture of the need for upgrades.

Petersburg also has $1.9 million in past due utility bill payments. As a response, leaders were considering in creating a city tax collector position. However, they decided not to do so.

City council also discussed other topics, such as property taxes and hiring a new city manager and police chief.

A Petersburg consultant says the city could be leaving $7 million on the table due to not aggressively collecting personal property taxes.

Petersburg City Council will also hold a second round of interviews with the City Manager finalists on Saturday. Officials say it is possible a decision could be made that evening.

The finalist for Petersburg's Police Chief is now undergoing a background check and negotiating a contract. The new chief expected to begin next month.

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