RAGLAND – The Coosa Valley Water Supply District Board approved a resolution setting water rates for 2017.

The board approved the new rates at a meeting Thursday at the Coosa Valley Water Supply District Water Treatment Plant.

Board attorney John Rea explained that CVWSD board members must approve rates for the upcoming year within the first 15 days of January of each year.

Board Chairman Jimmy Bailey said there is a slight increase in water rates compared to last year, but generally rates have remained steady.

The St. Clair County Commission, Odenville, Springville and Pell City are members of the CVWSD, and each entity has agreed to purchase at least 750,000 gallons of water per day from surface water treatment. The rates help pay for the operation and the bond that was secured to build the facility.

The plant began operation in 2011, and water rates for the members hit its highest point in 2015 at $3.47 per 1,000 gallons of water. There was a substantial drop in rates last year, $3.29 per 1,000 gallons.

Rea said CVWSD members will pay $75,959.54 per month for water this year, which means water will cost each entity $3.33 per 1,000 gallons.

Board member Greg Gossett said the monthly amount is about a 1-percent increase in cost compared to last year.

Officials said the surface water treatment plant pumps about 3 mgd (million gallons a day) of treated surface water and is capable of pumping much more if other utilities systems tap onto the CVWSD system.

CVWSD members said efforts continue to find more water users, which will help drive down costs.

Bailey said the new rates are “not too bad in the overall scheme of things.”

He said the board is hopeful that it could sell water to another water system, which would help reduce costs.

“We have had some discussions with other water systems, but nothing has materialized,” Bailey said.

Board member Earl Peoples said CVWSD members have plenty of water, while some systems have placed water restrictions on water users because of the continued drought conditions.