Effingham Commissioners vote to lower water rates - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Effingham Commissioners vote to lower water rates

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Dozens packed into the administrative building in Springfield on Tuesday night to see if they would get some relief from their high water bills.

The Effingham County Commission re-voted Tuesday on water and sewer rates that had recently increased. Many people at the meeting had bills that went way up, and in some cases even doubled.

"It went from $140 to $340 to $350," said Crys Daniels of Effingham. 

"My water bill was higher than my electric bill. My electric bill was just around $100 and we use electricity all day," said Shantell Johnson.

The County Commission voted to approve an increase back in May that raised the water base rate to $20 and the sewer base rate to $30. Usage rates also went up.

But tonight, county commissioners agreed to go back to the original water base rate of $10 and sewer at $15.

"I said, I must have water running down the walls of my house to get a bill for $200 for one month," said Johnson.

The usage fees will go up by 16 cents per thousand gallons used. The sewer usage rates were not affected. That increase will cover the price increase from the city of Savannah. Effingham gets its water from Savannah.

In addition, people will be credited for the high bills they have paid in the months of June and July.

"We did not mean to charge this amount, so we cannot let those bills stand," explained District Two Commissioner Vera Jones.

"It is a forgive and forget for me. However, as one of the commissioners reminded me, they will be voting on it in the future and it will go up," said Mary Beth Kronenberger.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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