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Thorsby council approves increase in water rates

Thorsby’s Town Council on Monday approved an increase in the rate the town charges water customers.

The charge for a resident who uses the monthly minimum of 2,000 gallons will not change, but the rate will increase by 25 cents for each thousand gallons used over the minimum.

The increase will apply to all water customers inside town limits. The change will not apply to the city of Jemison, which purchases water from Thorsby, because a contract is in place that sets the rate.

Council members expressed hesitation to increase the water rate but said there seemed to be no other option.

Councilman Neil Benson said revenue is needed to maintain the system, while Councilwoman Nicole Hilyer noted that Thorsby’s rates will still be lower than in most other locations across Chilton County.

Councilman Marvin Crumpton asked when the last increase took effect, and town clerk Crystal Smith answered that the last increase was in 2010.

“No one wants to go up, but we’ve got to keep up our water system,” Councilman Randall Higgins said.

The increase would be effective on Jan. 1, 2015.

•Approved the inclusion of a 3-percent pay raise for all town employees in the town’s budget for the coming fiscal year. The budget would need to be presented and approved at forthcoming meetings before anything contained therein would take effect.

•Heard from Police Chief Rodney Barnett about the safety hazard posed by dilapidated buildings in the downtown area. The council had previously addressed the condition of the buildings, and Mayor Jean Nelson said she would look into the situation.

•Approved the purchase of advertising with the Thorsby Swedish Festival for $505.

•Approved retaining I.H. McNeill III PC for accounting services.

•Approved paying of bills, with the necessary transfer of funds.