The town of Appomattox is conducting a utility rate study concerning water and sewer rates.

This comes amid news that the town received a $3.5 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development to finish upgrading its wastewater system, including the demolition of the old trickling filter plant and installation of a pump station.

A presentation and discussion of the utility rate study was held at the council workshop meeting July 24 at the Appomattox Municipal Building.

The study is being conducted by Hurt & Proffitt, with Stacie Castro and Dennis Amos responsible for compiling the data and creating scenarios for discussion and consideration.

“They are reviewing our current standing as far as our water and sewer rates versus what our future expenses are going to be in the next four to five years and even further out,” said Town Manager Gary Shanaberger on Monday, “and the whole purpose is to make sure that we can cover our future cost of improvements to our system to maintain you know a good service to our community – to our citizens.”

At the meeting, the company’s president, Bif Johnson, showed PowerPoint presentation slides and scenarios of no change, flat rate and a tiered rate and what impacts these rates would have on monthly bills for the various types of customers.

“We don’t know which way we’re going to go with that at all yet, but the rate study was for us to determine what options we wanted to use,” Mayor Paul Harvey said Monday.

Johnson advised the council that once they have had an opportunity to digest the information, he would be willing to come back with scenarios and recommendations to best facilitate the council’s goals.

He recommended a decision on when to implement the new rate and working back to create a timeframe.

Shanaberger said Monday that there no current plan on increasing rates, but that may occur in the future depending on the study.

The council thanked Hurt & Proffitt for the information and moved on to other business.

Council member Steven Conner voiced concerns of a tiered water/sewer rate that benefits the National Park Service. The National Park Service and/or Civil War Preservation Trust is purchasing large acreages in the county, and it is affecting the tax base.

Also, Harvey brought up for discussion the pass-through rate the county pays for the cost of water from the town, but there was no interest in discussing it at the workshop meeting.

The next regular scheduled meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Appomattox Municipal Building.

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