Residents of Kentucky town outraged after seeing water bills
BURGIN, Ky. (WKYT) - People in a central Kentucky town are having sticker shock when seeing their water bills.
However, it’s not the cost of water that is causing the outrage. Burgin’s water bills also include sewer and garbage collection. Mayor Joseph Monroe says both have risen substantially.
Mayor Monroe took office earlier this month and says, almost immediately, the complaints came rolling into city hall.
He says the city has no control over what sewer and garbage collection services charge. He says the increase is because sewer service and garbage collection from Rumpke, which is also on that bill, went up.
Mayor Monroe says the city only collects and does not see any of that money and if people had to pay for those three services separately, they would pay even more.
The sewer rates were set by the Mercer County Sewer District, and the mayor says Rumpke told them the garbage contract went up because gas prices did last year. Monroe says the message to the town is that they don’t have control over these rates.
“I have had elderly folks call in here and say, ‘I have one bag of garbage a week. So, why should I have to pay that high price’ and ‘my son lives three doors down and I could drop it in his garbage can and not have to pay for it,’” Mayor Monroe said.
Monroe says many people in town are on a fixed income, especially the elderly and some have seen their bills double.
A spokesperson for Rumpke told us the rates went up $4.61 a month for most residential customers because labor, fuel, and travel maintenance costs have all increased for the company. Mercer County Sewer District officials say they really had no choice but to raise rates. They say it was either “sink or swim.”
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