GUC ponders fee hikes

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 2:03 PM | Anonymous

 from reflector.com

Published January 16, 2014

Increased fees involving commercial wastewater treatment and electric service fees are being debated by Greenville Utilities’ board members.


The finance committee is recommending increased fees for the wastewater system’s pre-treatment analysis and hauled wastewater charges. However, the four-person committee wants additional information before taking action on staff recommended increases involving electric service fees.


GUC Commissioner Chip Little was concerned about the dramatic rate increases being proposed for some electric service fees. He asked if the increases could be incrementally implemented over a multi-year period to lessen the financial impact on builders and other businesses.

Staff members said they would bring back in February information about implementing the increases over a five-year period.

Tony Cannon, GUC chief executive officer and general manager, said he would like a recommendation on the electric service fees at that time because changes need to be incorporated in the proposed fiscal year 2014-15 budget which staff is preparing.

It has been more than a decade since the wastewater and electric system fee schedules had been updated, Cannon said.

In that time, GUC’s labor and materials cost for providing electric services has increased 30 percent, Cannon said. On the wastewater side, an estimated $900,000 has been spent to make it easier for wastewater haulers to access the treatment plant, but the businesses are paying the same amount of fees they paid in 2001.

It is important for the businesses and individuals using these services to pay for the increases involved in offering the services, Cannon said.

“You want to place the cost where the cost is,” Cannon said. “If you don’t adjust this we would have to recoup (the costs) through rate increases.”

Wastewater haulers are mainly companies that offer portable toilets and performance septic system maintenance. Right now they are charged $45 for a 2,000 gallon load. Staff is recommending a rate of $59.22 per 2,000 gallon load. There also would be a 3-cent per gallon charge for all volumes over 2,000 gallons.

The pretreatment lab analysis fees are paid by wastewater haulers and businesses and industries that work with chemicals that could be pollutants or hazardous.

There are about 11 pretreatment tests that are performed.

The electric fees are for the installation of services at residences and commercial property.

A $35 fee increase is being proposed for installing temporary service at a residential location, increasing from $60 to $95. At a commercial site the temporary service fee would increase $10, rising from $100 to $110.

If additional temporary poles are needed the cost would rise from $150 per pole to $555, according to staff.

The fee for installing permanent underground service would increase from $125 to $220 for less than 175 feet of lines. In subdivisions with less than 50 lots and lot frontage of less than 110 feet, the fee would increase from $150 to $350.

The fees for underground commercial service vary based on the amps used by the businesses. The increases range from 50 percent to 218 percent.

The full Greenville Utilities Board of Commissioners will review the wastewater fees recommendation next month.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.

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