Water bill increase causes concern for Columbus residents

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Come January 1st, Lena Johnson will have to tack on $1.83 to her monthly water bill.

The Columbus water works is expected to raise rates for all of its users if the proposal presented at Tuesday's council meeting is passed in December.

"I'm penniless when finish paying my bills now, because of the income that I have and I would be struggling to get an extra two dollars," Johnson said.

It's an increase that Johnson says she simply can't afford.

"When I pay my rent and other bills and my utility bills I just don't have the money and I don't feel they need to be increasing our water," Johnson said.

Executive Vice President at Columbus Water Works Emory Blount tell us that the increase is all part of a five-year rate projection to better the water system for customers like Lena Johnson.

"You are able to take a shower brush your teeth have a cup of coffee and it's all because you've got a good water system," Blount said.

A system that Blount says needs money in order to continue to working efficiently. Blount says that rates are being raised to because of increased operation costs and declining consumption due to mandatory restrictions on outdoor watering.

Though it's supposed to benefit customers in the long run, Lena Johnson says she's worried about the short run.

"If it does pass I will probably be going to different churches and organizations and ask for help for my utilities because it won't be coming from my income because I won't have it," Johnson said.

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