Change coming to county water systems

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Customers could see $50 plus bills

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Levy County lost almost $41,000  in 2010 on two water systems that serve 187 residents in Bronson's University Oaks and Chiefland's Manatee subdivisions.

In the past 12 years, the County Water Department has lost $340,556, an average $28,379 annually, according to a report presented Tuesday by County Commissioner Ryan Bell of Chiefland (R-District 4). Those figures do not include the salaries of three county employees who work on department business.

The commissioner said the system does not have mandatory hookup, does not charge a deposit, even though municipalities charge $180-$250, does not charge a turn-on fee — even when water is cut off for non-payment, and the rates — unchanged for 17 years — are among the lowest in the county.

Bell, who undertook a cash flow analysis of the water department, presented his findings to the commission at its regular meeting and he outlined two possible solutions:

• Increase water rates to about $57 per month to cover costs, or

• Get out of the water business.

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