The Macon Water Authority on Thursday approved rate increases for residential water and sewer service to support its fiscal 2013 budget passed earlier this month.
The increases go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.
The base rate for sewer service will increase by $1.25 for the second year in a row, bringing the base cost to $7.50 for most residential customers and $9.17 for those with somewhat larger, 1-inch meters. The authority had previously approved the concept of this two-step increase to achieve a total increase of $2.50.
Normal residential customers pay the monthly sewer base rate, plus 80 percent of their water use.
Income from sewer sales are projected to increase by 6.8 percent, or almost $20 million, in fiscal 2013, according to the budget.
The authority also approved an increase of 10 cents per 100 cubic feet (750 gallons) of water and sewer service.
According to authority budget documents, this increase will provide income needed to fund the capital reserve, operation and maintenance, and expense increases related to pension and health care insurance.
The authority budget anticipates a net income of about $6.6 million. Key projects funded by the budget include replacing two-thirds of the carbon filters at the Amerson Water Treatment Plant for $2 million, and replacing clarifiers at the Lower Poplar sewage treatment plant for about $90,000, said Tony Rojas, executive director of the authority.
The authoritys operating expenses are budgeted to increase by 6 percent above those in fiscal 2012, for a total of $29.3 million. Operating revenues are expected to increase 3.2 percent, to about $45.7 million.
Rojas said the budget also includes a one-time $500 bonus for eligible employees who meet specific performance expectations. This payment is in lieu of authority workers receiving traditional merit increases.
To contact writer S. Heather Duncan, call 744-4225.