Springhill Council votes for new water rates

By Paige Nash

After months of discussion and workshops, the Springhill City Council voted unanimously Monday night to adopt an ordinance to establish new water rates that went into effect immediately after the vote. 

“We have stressed over this and held it up for maybe a month or so, concerned over how this affects everybody,” said District 5 Alderman Derek Melancon. “This council has put in a lot of work to make sure this is right not only for our residents but for our city.” 

Melancon also pointed out the current water grade for the City of Springhill. In May, the Louisiana Department of Health released the final grades for the year 2022. The City of Springhill Water System received a “C.” Deductions included a maximum of –10 points for lack of financial stability, a maximum of –10 points for lack of customer satisfaction and –5 points for presence of secondary contaminants which could include levels of iron and/or manganese greater than the secondary maximum contaminant levels. According to LDH, these levels do not pose a health risk but may cause undesirable water quality issues. 

Melancon explained the reasoning behind the 75/100 score. He said, “It’s not because of our water, but because of the water and sewer department not sustaining itself. There is an act called Act 98 that says we are required by law to make our water and sewer department sustainable.” 

In other water and sewer department news, the council approved the purchase of a 2010 GMC ¾ ton truck from Springhill Motor Company in the amount of $12,900. In a roll call vote, all aldermen voted in favor of the purchase with exception of District 4 Alderman Mike Whitlock.  

In a pre-council meeting held last Thursday, October 5, Mayor Ray Huddleston said the transmission in the truck previously being used failed and the cost of repairs would equal more than the purchase of the used truck and especially cheaper than buying a new one. 

The new water rates that were approved by the council have not yet been released and were not discussed in either pre-council or regular meetings, however, water-paying residents should expect to see the increases on their November bill.