Monroe water hike delayed

    The Monroe Town Council wanted to take action on a proposed water rate increase at Thursday night's meeting, but could not do so because a legal advertisement which town officials had published was incomplete.
    A more detailed legal ad will be printed soon in local newspapers and the council will hold a public hearing on the proposed water rate hike and vote on it in a special session at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 19, in Town Hall.
    Council President Al Lehman said last night that Monroe's water utility has lost money in seven of the past nine years and that cash reserves built up in the 1980s and 1990s are depleted because of repairs, replacements, and routine maintenance of the 60-year-old water system.
    Also, rising costs are associated with required state fees, Lehman added.
    The suggested rate hike would average 18.5 percent per water customer, said Lehman, with councilwoman Debra Giessler saying the average water user would pay $5 to $8 more per month if the higher rates are approved.
    Lehman listed the following figures for potential water rate increases, to each of which would be added an eight-cent state sales tax:
    — The minimum increase would be $1.12 per month.
    — A user of 2,500 gallons to 3,500 gallons of water per month would pay an extra $3.70 per month.
    — A user of 6,500 to 7,500 gallons of water a month would pay an additional $6.18 per month.
    — A user of 10,500 to 11,500 gallons of water in a month would pay $8.38 more per month.