BOWIE (KFDX/KJTL) — Bowie City Council members are moving forward with plans to replace the city’s 80-year-old sewer lines despite pushback from some residents over future increases to water and sewer rates.
Before tonight’s meeting, Bowie Mayor Gaylynn Burris says that residents should expect an overall increase of a little less than 15% over the course of the five-year project. A rise some residents, like Helen Sue Ingraham, say is too much.
“I don’t like it at all. Due to the fact that I have to live in a motel room in order to have a place to live because rates keep going up,” Ingram said.
It’s why Ingraham says a water-sewer rate increase will only make her dream of moving back into her own home even less likely.
“I mean it’s rough on people trying just to make ends meet. You try and live paycheck to paycheck. You stop and think about the elderly people in this community that have lived here all of their lives,” Ingram said.
Concerns Bowie Mayor Gaylynn Burris says she is sensitive to, which is why the approved plan will make incremental increase to water-sewer rates over the five-year life of the project.
“I don’t think we are going to hit the community all at once so that helps. By being able to stretch it out over that five years for the increase and in the five years for an overage 5000-gallon customer, it will be a little less than $10,” Burris said.
But even with the rate increases, Mayor Burris says the city’s water-sewer rates will be right where they should be.
“We’ve done a lot of research. We actually hired a firm to come in and do the research to find out where we are and do a rate study for us. For communities our size, we fall about midway,” Burris said.
And with an eye toward the future projects, Mayor Burris says replacing the 55,000 feet of sewer lines is even more beneficial.
“Because when the new sewer lines go down, we’ll be able to do street repairs. It will be a significant difference in our community,” Burris said.
Building toward a Bowie that works for everyone’s future success.
Sewer rates will help fund the 9.7 million in bonds that will pay for nearly 10 miles of new sewer lines.