City of Dothan residents may soon see an increase in sewage rates.
The proposal is to increase the fee from $1.05 per thousand gallons of sewage to $3.71, which is more than a 300 percent increase.
However, city officials say the move is necessary to keep up with increasing costs.
Sewage processing costs have increased over the years, but rates have not. Now, the city of Dothan is trying to come up with a way to cover the gap.
Dothan Utilities Director Billy Mayes said, "The last increase was in the 1990's. We charge $1.09, but the cost is really $2.85 per thousand gallons."
The cost to process water from towns like Kinsey and Taylor is going to increase significantly, but the city of Dothan says the move is to keep the current system fair.
"The city of Dothan residents are paying for the shortfall and that's not fair or appropriate,” Mayes adds. “So, it needs to be shared correctly.”
To pay for the shortfall, the city of Dothan is proposing a sewage rate increase to towns feeding into the cities system.
"We're looking at groups using our facilities and we feel those discharging to our system should pay their fair cost," Mayes concluded.
The mayor of Taylor says that increase means their town will go from paying $2500 dollars a month in sewage fees to $10,000 dollars; a drastic change for many smaller towns in Houston County.
The city of Dothan has seen a $5 to $7 million dollar shortfall each year in sewage fees and while they understand this is a lot of money for smaller towns to come up with, it's the only way they feel they can protect Dothan residents from paying an unfair amount.
The increase in sewage fees has already been approved by the city of Dothan. Contracts from seven towns feeding into the cities sewage system are due in 60 days.