Water bills will not increase for now; rate changes to be discussed in May

Rock Hill water bills won't be increasing, at least for now, because of the drought, city officials said Wednesday.

As Charlotte's city leaders weigh a proposed 16 percent water rate hike to make up for lost revenues from water restrictions, Rock Hill City Manager Carey Smith said he doesn't expect a similar stopgap measure will be needed in Rock Hill.

"We'll wait and discuss any rate changes with our budget (in May)," Smith said Wednesday.

But that doesn't mean the city isn't feeling the pinch. As city water customers cut their usage by up to 30 percent since July, projected revenues from water sales dipped, too. Smith said the drop wasn't noticeable at first, but added, "We are starting to see it now."

Smith didn't go into specifics of how the city will make up deficits in the budget, but he did suggest ascending rates -- charging a higher rate for larger water volumes -- is one option to consider.

"I think it's close enough that we can take the whole budget into account, and that will give us a better picture," Smith said. "We don't have a crystal ball."

-- Adam O'Daniel