Springhill water rate increase is a washout

By Paige Nash

The Springhill City Council failed to introduce an ordinance to increase water rates at the August 14 meeting.  

According to Mayor Ray Huddleston, following the introduction the increase would become effective pending council approval at the next meeting on September 11.  

“I just need one of you to introduce it,” said Huddleston.  

This statement was followed by silence on behalf of the council members.  

When none of them came forward with the introduction Huddleston said, “Okay, well nobody wants to introduce it then we will just pass on it. We are going in the hole.” 

This decision was made even after a previous meeting held a week prior with the Compliance Manager for the Louisiana Rural Water Association Ken Terry. 

Terry explained the current predicament the city would be in if they did not agree to raise the rates to cover the already high debt of the water department and any future system upgrades that are desperately needed.  

“One thing you have to keep in mind is that the state is not going to allow you to keep working in the red. You do not want to know the repercussions of that,” said Terry. 

He made many recommendations, one of them being the adoption of an ordinance to begin enforcing a consumer price index (CPI) increase every year. CPI is the average change in prices over time in prices paid for urban consumers for goods and services. This usually equals a 2.5 to 3 percent raise per year.   

All other items on the agenda were approved and accepted: 

  • – Consider the land lease termination at 105 West Church Street.  
  • – Introduce an Ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Supplementing and Amending Chapter 102 Entitled “Taxation”, Article 2 Entitled “Ad Valorem Tax”, Section 102-27, Entitled “Rate of Assessment; Purposes”, of the Code of Ordinances, City of Springhill Levying Taxes of 7.70 Mills General Alimony Tax, on all Taxable Property in the City of Springhill, Louisiana for the Year 2023.  
  • – Consider a proposal from Nash Security for updating the security camera system at City Hall. 
  • – Consider the proposal from Johnson Control for the fire suppression system repairs at the Community Activity Center  
  • – Consider the Police Chief’s recommendation to give Emily Wedgeworth a pay step increase. 
  • – Consider the Police Chief’s recommendation to move LaDarryl Armstrong from full time to part time.  
  • – Consider payment of the July 2023 monthly vendor bills totaling $114,635.60.