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Water company seeking rate increase

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By Stephen Lega

The Lebanon Water Company made a request to the Lebanon City Council Monday to increase its water rates by 15 percent. If approved, this would be the water company’s first rate increase in seven years.
Under the proposal, the water company’s rate for in-town customers (anyone inside the city limits of Lebanon) would increase from $2.14 to $2.50 per cubic feet of water. The out-of-town customers served by the water company would see a rate increase from $2.354 to $2.75 per 100 cubic feet of water. (The out-of-town customers include a few hundred residential customers, mostly in the old Calvary Road area.)
Holly Nicholas of Kentucky Engineering Group presented the proposal to the city, saying the increase was needed to help the water company continue operating efficiently in light of increasing expenses.
If the rate increase is approved, she pointed out that the average bill for in-town customers would increase from $17.43 to $20.10 per month. For out-of-town customers, the average bill would increase from $19.17 to $22.11.
Any change in the rates would likely affect county residents as well because the Marion County Water District buys its water from Lebanon at the in-town rate.
Council members wanted more time to review the proposal, and they agreed to hold a special-called meeting at 6 p.m. April 15.
Councilman Jay Grundy said a 15 percent rate increase may cause “sticker shock” for the public.
Look for more on this issue online and in a future print edition.