The Town of Vaiden is looking into a water rate increase for any business with a two-inch water meter. Mayor Mel Hawthorne said the Town of Vaiden was awarded a $450,000 Community Block Development Grant. However, because of the pea sized gravel that has been in the water, it’s caused problems at the town’s lagoon.
Once the lagoon repairs have been made with the CBDG money, there will be an extra cost the town will have to pay to keep up maintenance at the lagoon and stay in compliance with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
“I called around to Winona, Kosciusko, Como, and I asked them about their water rates. I think the closest we can get to is Kosciusko’s rates,” Hawthorne said.
He said an official with the city of Kosciusko told him they charge a different rate than their regular standard home meters.
“He said it was something that we should go back and revisit. Because right now, we’re charging them [the businesses] like our homes with $16 for 3,000 gallons of water and $6 for 3,000 gallons of sewer. We’re going to have to address this and decide how much of an adjustment we want to make,” Hawthorne said.
He said it would affect 35/55 Truck Stop, Triple Stop, the Carroll-Montgomery Regional Correctional Facility, Chevron, Exxon and “anyone that has a two-inch water meter.”
“So, it affects all of [Highway] 35?” Alderwoman Lesia Hemphill asked.
“I’m not sure if it’s all of 35,” Hawthorne said.
He said there was a farmer who had a two-inch water line.
“Can we include him in also?” Hawthorne asked Board Attorney Lane Greenlee.
“You’re going to have to contact the Public Service Commission before you move, and they’re going to stare at you real hard," Greenlee said. “It’s best you stay in the city limits.”
Hawthorne said the assessment is the fairest way the town can recoup the cost of the water.
He also asked Greenlee if there a way the town could add additional fees to the jail. Hawthorne said the reason is that the extra cost comes from the jail. The Town of Vaiden recently switched wells because of discoloring of the water, sand, and pea-sized gravel in the water system.
The town was connected to Well No. 2, which is located at the jail. However, Greenlee reminded him the last time the town tried to add an additional fee to the jail, it didn’t go over so well with the Carroll County Board of Supervisors.
“No, [Supervisor] Rickie [Corley] is okay with it. He said he’d vote for it, and we can either bill them or sue them. I think I was trying to get them to pay for the pump last time,” Hawthorne said. “Can we have them in a special category?”
“You can. Cities do it all the time with hospitals. You can have a special catergory just for the jail and add the additional fees that way. Then, you can capture the expense the jail is causing. Will it take care of the additional expense at the lagoon?”
“No, not at all,” Hawthorne said.