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La Vergne may see water and sewer rate increase

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If the second reading of Ordinance 2011-06 passes La Vergne residents and businesses could see an increase to water and sewer rates. The vote is scheduled for the May 3 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.

La Vergne residents may have to pay more for their water and sewer usage, effective June 1, if the ordinance passes. The ordinance would amend the rates so that water fees will increase 40 percent and sewer fees by 60 percent.

The increase is largely a pass-along from fees being paid to Nashville Metro for sewer use. Beginning in 2007, Nashville has incrementally increased rates to municipalities from $.47 to $1.27 p/100 cubic feet, but rather than charging residents for these higher rates, the city absorbed the increase.

“Since 2009, La Vergne will have paid more than $4 million from our reserve funds for water and sewage costs over and above what we have collected,” City Administrator Steve Mayer said. “Because the city has not taken action until now, we have operated negative to our net assets, therefore a meeting and action plan have been requested by the State Comptroller’s Office in July. Our bottom line is La Vergne must now address the problem or allow the state to do it for us.”

The La Vergne Board of Mayor and Aldermen will discuss the proposed rate increase at the workshop beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday and the measure will be voted on at the regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 3.

In addition, the budget for fiscal year 2011-12 will be discussed. A public hearing for these issues will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the day of the regular meeting.

The amount of the rate increase was recommended by an independent study done by the University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service. This is the second hearing for the measure and if it passes, it will take effect June 1.

The rate increase will also help pay for water and sewer improvements in La Vergne, including pipe replacement to ensure adequate water-flow for fire and other emergencies.

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