The Board of Commissioners voted to increase sewer rates for Mt. Juliet citizens by three percent to make up for a shortfall in the department.
City of Mt. Juliet staff had originally asked for 10 percent, but Commissioner Jim Bradshaw asked it to be reduced to three percent. The staff also wanted 10 percent the next two years as well.
The department is short $500,000 to $600,000 every year because of depreciation of the pipes below ground. They will eventually have to be replaced, so staff recommends that they put it in the fund now so they will have the money later.
“There are eroded pipes that you will have to replace somehow,” said Finance Director John Rossmaier.
Rossmaier also said that the fee they have to pay for Metro keeps increasing every year, but the rates have not been raised since 2009.
“So the cost for treatment goes up every year, but our revenue does not,” asked Commissioner Ray Justice in which Rossmaier confirmed.
Mayor Ed Hagerty didn’t vote for the reduced rate because the issue will have to be resolved in the future. Both he and Vice Mayor James Maness said it is just pushing it off on a future generation.
“At some point, it has got to be corrected,” said Hagerty. It eventually passed with a three percent increase, with only Hagerty voting against it.