Public hearing on Rock Hill city budget, utility rates Monday

The public will have a chance to have its say on Rock Hill’s city budget Monday, including a proposed increase in utility rates.

Rock Hill City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2015-16 budget at the city council meeting, 6 p.m. Monday, ahead of a vote on several budget-related items, including measures setting electric, water and sewer rates for the coming year.

When council members reviewed the proposed $213 million budget in April, it included plans for a 5 percent increase in Rock Hill’s electric rate on top of a 1 percent increase in both the water and wastewater rates charged to city customers.

The average residential utility customer would see their monthly bill rise by $6.80 beginning in July.

If passed, this budget’s electricity increase will be the 13th in a row and the third-highest, single-year electric increase in that time frame, after 6 percent increases in both fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

The proposal would spend 4.5 percent of next year’s increase toward power purchased from the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency, while the remaining 0.5 percent would go to fund increasing costs in the city’s electric operations. Likewise, a 1 percent increase in wastewater payments would fund an expansion of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

Other budget items on the agenda Monday include plans to raise more money from city business licenses by increasing the maximum tax for certain manufacturers from $1,600 to $3,000, and for auto dealers from $7,500 to $10,000. Council also will vote on a proposal to set a $27.59 charge for “extra” solid waste pickup, up from $25.41 currently.

Once approved, the budget and any rate increases will take effect when the new budget year begins July 1.

Bristow Marchant •  803-329-4062

Want to Go?

What: Public hearing on Rock Hill city budget

Where: Rock Hill City Council meeting, City Hall, 155 Johnston St.

When: 6 p.m. Monday