Loxley Council approves annual utility rate increase

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LOXLEY, Alabama — The Loxley Town Council approved an increase in water and sewer rates at its regular monthly council meeting on Sept. 9, but garbage rates, which were increased in December of last year, will remain the same.

In December of 2013, after considering a 6 percent increase in utility rates, which would have brought the town up-to-date on its utility rates, the council voted on a 4 percent rate increase after it was discovered that rates had not been increased since before 2010, despite increasing costs.

In 2010, the council adopted an ordinance requiring rates to be raised based on the Consumer Price Index, but officials discovered in 2013 that the rates had not increased since the ordinance was adopted.

In 2015, the council adopted a proposal to increase the town’s rates to the nearest dollar amount. An amendment was also placed in the town’s ordinance to automatically increase the rates 2 percent each year.

Rate increases for 2019 include:

Water

• First 2,000 gallons or less, increase from $25.47 to $25.98 minimum monthly.

• First 2,000 gallons or less where the head of household is 65 or older, increase from $20.17 to $20.57 minimum monthly.

• Next 8,000 gallons, increase from $5.30 per 1,000 gallons to $5.41 per 1,000 gallons.

• Over 10,000 gallons, increase from $3.99 per 1,000 gallons to $4.07 per 1,000 gallons.

Sewer

• Residential: increase from $27.59 to $28.14 per month.

• Residential where head of household is 65 or older: Increase from $20.17 to $20.57 per month.

• Commercial or Industrial: 80 percent of monthly water bill, increase from a minimum of $28.65 to $29.22 per month.

The council voted in December of 2018 to increase garbage rates just over $2 per month, from $18.06 per month for each single-family dwelling unit, $14.88 for households whose head is age 65 or older, and $21.25 for business establishments, to $20.08, $16.90 and $23.27 respectively. Those rates will remain in effect for the coming fiscal year.

In other business Sept. 9, the council voted to finance a nearly half-million-dollar loan with Community Bank in Fairhope for the purchase of approximately 73 acres of land on County Road 49 in Loxley.

Under the terms of the agreement, the town will finance $447,500, maturing in five years and to be amortized over 15 years at a rate of 2.63 percent with estimated monthly payments of $3,011.

The council also voted to contract with Sawgrass Consulting LLC for land surveying, wetland delineation and Phase 1 ESA services for the property at a total cost of $12,000.

The land is located just south of the town’s Public Works Facility.

Also on Sept. 9, the council:

• Voted to renew its contract with the Central Baldwin Chamber of Commerce at a cost of $4,200.

• Voted to renew its contract with the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission at a cost of $1,883.

• Voted to contract with Avenu Insights & Analytics for the collection of business license and tax fees.

• Donated $1,500 for the Loxley Elementary School’s new robotics program.

• Voted to purchase a gold banner sponsorship for the Central Baldwin Middle School basketball team at a cost of $150.

• Approved a request from the Loxley Civic Center to contract with Metal Door Painting for a total of 18 doors and thresholds at the Civic Center at a total cost of $1,800.

• Approved the sale of a 2008 command vehicle for the Loxley Volunteer Fire Department.

• Voted to name the road leading up to the Deep South Speedway off of Alabama 59 as Darby Lane.