Utility rate increase just a necessary evil

With the high cost of living and ever-rising gas prices, Tallahassee natives are about to feel the sting of another expense. On Wednesday, city commissioners approved an increase water and sewer line rates.

Tallahassee Democrat’s Web page showed more rate increases are scheduled for 2009 and 2010.

The increase in water and sewer rates will raise a customer’s bill by $3.71 and will begin Tuesday. Unfortunately, this marks a 9.5 percent hike from the current $39.13 average bill. This will undoubtedly make a few Tallahasseeans a little upset.

With other various expenses, no one wants to pay any extra on bills that they don’t like to pay in the first place. Locals had the perfect opportunity to voice their opinions at a public hearing, however, according to the Democrat, nobody bothered to show up.

Nevertheless, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The new rates only apply to customers who use more than 7,000 gallons per month; this will begin in 2009. The Democrat said the increased rates will help pay for $218 million in improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plants. This is expected to happen over the next three decades.

So, while this may hurt locals’ pockets, it should prove to help the city. If only there was a way to provide improvements without making bills go up. Sometimes you just have to take the good with the bad.

Jay Christie for the Editorial Board.