Proposed water rate increase has Midlands citizens boiling

A new water rate proposal has many citizens in the Midlands upset.

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - A new water rate proposal has many citizens in the Midlands upset.

The rate was proposed by Carolina Water Services, and would increase by 25%.

Neighborhoods affected include all or parts of Lexington, West Columbia, Gaston, and Irmo.

"It's outrageous what they are charging," said Katie Price who voiced her concern in Monday night's meeting with the Public Service Commission.

"The sewer bill alone for this house is more than the sewer and water together when I was living in the Columbiaâ??s city limits," added Price.

Among those in attendance was State Senator Katrina Shealy who argues that the proposed increase is unreasonable.

"The Consumer Price Index says that average things are 1.2 percent," said Senator Katrina Shealy. "They are asking for a 25% rate increase, normal people can't afford that.â??

Revenue from the proposed increase would go towards improving the current water delivery system.

Vice President of the utility company, Richard Durham, told WACH Fox that revenue from the increase would also help the company recover from previous investments.

Citizens at the meeting like Laura Valtorta feels customers shouldn't be held responsible past problems.

"It always seems outrageous when they ask for an increase," said Laura Valtorta, representative of the Forty Love Point in Chapin. "We may pay $50.00 a month extra in bottled water per house hold, so you have to add that on top of what we are paying for this water that is unpalatable."

Monday night's meeting was for citizens to voice their concerns to the PSC.

Tuesday morning at 10 oâ??clock, the Carolina Water Service will make their case to the PSC.

That meeting is open to the public, located at the Public Service Commission on 101 Executive Center Drive in Columbia, SC.