Henrico, VA—Henrico residents could soon be paying more for their water, if next year's budget plan is approved.
A proposal to increase Henrico residents' water and sewer rates by five percent is being hotly debated right now. The proposal would increase water bills by about $7.00 bi-monthly.
Two percent of the increased cost will help maintain the current water system; three percent will help build the Cobbs Creek Reservoir.
The total cost of the project is slated to be $280 million; the new reservoir will be built in Cumberland County near Routes 690 and 686.
Bill Mawyer of the Department of Public Utilities explains how the partnership between Powhatan, Cumberland and Henrico Counties will work:
"It has a safe yield of 47 million gallons per day, and Henrico will be entitled to 30 million per day."
The average family of four in Henrico uses more than 7,000 gallons of water each month. County officials this multi-million dollar project will address all water needs, and could even help eliminate mandatory water restrictions we see every year.
Some residents like Jerome Barley question why the city of Richmond's water and sewer rates would not increase, since part of Henrico County buys some of its water supply.
"Normally, when a person raises a price on one level, it reflects the next level," Barley says.
The Henrico Board of Supervisors is in favor of the plan; when we took residents' concerns to them, member Dick Glover replied, ""Our rates are based on our needs, and it's that way every year."
The Board of Supervisors will vote in April. If the ordinance is approved, the reservoir is scheduled to be completed in 2021. County officials say it will provide clean water to the counties for at least 50 years.
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