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Water, gas rates increase this month

By By Lisa Tindell
Atmore residents will ante up to help the city repay a loan on a sewer treatment facility to the tune of about $10 per household beginning with October’s bills. Increases in water and gas will also appear on the bills for the month.
Atmore Utilities Board Manager Tom Wolfe said the increase in the sewer rates for city residents is one he regrets having to pass on.
Wolfe said the added fee is one way to help the city repay a $8.75 million loan used to overhaul its sewer plant.
The overhauling of the plant became necessary after the Alabama Department of Environmental Management presented the city with a permit with specific limits.
Wolfe said the costs of doing the required improvements and replacements on the system were much higher than costs seen in years past.
Wolfe said the increase in the three areas of products provided by the utilities department includes sewer, water and gas.
Wolfe estimated an average customer uses 7,400 gallons of water each month and rates were adjusted accordingly.
Natural gas rates have been increased by 5 percent, Wolfe said. Increases amount to approximately 85 cent per 100 cubic feet of gas used.