Kermit Residents Outraged By Increase In Water Bills 11/8/13
CBS 7 News
November 8, 2013
KERMIT, TX-Residents in Kermit are outraged after taking a look at their water bill.
Back in September former City Manager Pete Kampfer proposed a city ordinance that would increase the City of Kermit's water rate in order to fund his "Re-Klaim Kermit" campaign.
City Hall's phones were tied all day today with calls from residents complaining about the increase in their water bill.
Although some residents claimed to be unaware of this water bill increase, city officials said the ordinance was publicized two months ago through the local newspaper.
Connie Bermea, is just one of many residents living on a fixed income, who was shocked upon opening this month's water bill.
"How am I going to pay for these bills, you know, I can't afford it, I live on a little income every month," said Bermea.
Bermea, who lives alone, saw an increase from $78-dollars to $177.25 this month.
Another resident, Codi Jolley, saw her water bill doubled this month.
"I'm looking at cutting Christmas gifts out and people I normally give gifts to may not get them," said Jolley.
The majority of the city council voted to pass this ordinance, which they thought outlined a small increase on the average water bill, according to councilman Julio Pena.
Pena said he voted against the ordinance, because the details were not clear and many members did not understand Pete Kamfer's proposal at the city council meeting that few residents attended.
"He explained it his way and some of them listened and some of them didn't lets put it that way," said Pena.
Even though Pena voted against the ordinance, he says the revenue is definitely needed, but the increase shouldn't have been to that extreme.
"If we all get together, citizens and the council get together, and hash it out, I think it’s very fixable,” said Pena.
Pena recommends that all residents who wish to change this ordinance are encouraged to attend the next city council meeting Thursday November 21st.
Come the 18th of this month and next month, residents will have to pay their water bills at the price based on what that the ordinance reads.
Gloria Saenz, City Secretary for Kermit, says the new water rates work as follow:
1. Base rate for up to the first 5,000 gallons is $17.00.
2. Consumption rate for usage over 5,000 gallons:
(a) 5,0001-10,000: $3.75 per 1,000 gallons.
(b) 10,001-25,000: $4.25 per 1,000 gallons.
(c) 25,001-40,000: $4.75 per 1,000 gallons.
(d) Over 40,000: $5.50 per 1,000 gallons.