Gilbert may raise water rates

Local News

GILBERT, La. (5/17/19)–   Good ole H2O.

It’s a daily necessity for all of us, but a new ordinance could have Gilbert residents paying substantially more for it.

Mayor Mike Stephens says it’s the first time in nearly 10 years that Gilbert has raised the water rates, and for bigger families and businesses who use a lot of water, that could mean a lot coming out of your wallet.

   “It’s done got to a point where we can’t survive, so we’re going to have to go up on our water rates. We’re getting a $1.25 increase per 1,000 [gallons], so I mean, that’s a lot,” said Mayor Stephens.

Gilbert has a long history of water issues.

The village used to run on a well system, but they were unsustainable.

Gilbert’s water supplier, West Winnsboro Water, has hiked the prices for the town.

Now, Mayor Stephens says there’s no choice but to raise the rates.

   “I hate to charge people more money, but the cost of living is going up and everything has to be repaired,” said Stephens.

Gilbert’s alderman proposed the ordinance this month. If it passes, average locals will pay $6 to $7  more a month for water.

The increase is necessary to keep Gilbert out of debt.

  “We work on the upcoming year’s budget. and when we did that, we saw that they were going to be operating in the red,” said Timmy Lemoine, water circuit rider with Louisana Rural Water Association.

That means business owner’s like florist Lyndsey Smith, owner of Petal Pusher’s, could be hit with a substantially higher bill.

  “I do wonder what it’s going to do to my profit margins, especially when I use as much water as I use, it’s kind of discouraging,” said Smith.

Gilbert alderman will vote on the ordinance next month. If it passes, reisdents can expect an increase in their water bills by August.

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