By Art Hunter
Bethel residents have seen their water rates go up this year.
The new rates, recently adopted by village council, have gone from $18.20 for the first 2,000 gallons and 99 cents per 100 gallons after that to $22.72 for the first 2,000 gallons and $1.25 per 100 gallons used after that.
Village fiscal officer Bill Gilpin says while no-one was happy with the increase, rates had not been raised in six years, and that two particular issues prompted this year’s increase.
The first is that the village buys its water from Tate-Monroe Water Association, which recently raised its rates by 20 percent.
“Obviously, we need to recoup that,” Gilpin said.
The other reason for the incrase is that the village is preparing to build a new water tower and replace several sections of water mains.
“It’s going to be about a $2.2 million project to replace the water tower and mains,” Gilpin said.
Gilpin said that residents should be able to eventually see a savings on their homeowners insurance rates because of the improvements being made to the water system.
He said the improved water delivery system is a fire safety improvement, which makes the village safer and will cause insurance rates to come down.