Water faucet

TALLADEGA -- The Talladega City Council voted unanimously Monday night to adjust the municipality’s water rate based on the consumer price index, but few, if any, residential customers are expected to notice any difference.

“In order not to put undue strain on our citizens who are on fixed incomes, it is recommended that the CPI rate increase be applied to usage in excess of the amount of the base rate,” City Manager Beth Cheeks wrote in a memo to the council. “This will mean that those citizens who use a minimum amount of water and sewer will not see an increase on their bill.”

For residential water service inside the city limits, the base minimum is 3,000 gallons per month. Anything under that threshold is $15.66 per month for water and $16.66 per month for sewer. An additional $3.76 per 1,000 gallons over 3,000 is due for water and sewer service. It is only to these rates that the CPI increase of 3.4 percent would apply.

Residential service outside the city limits and commercial service inside or outside the city all use the same base amount, but have different base rates.

The same ordinance approved Monday also allowed for an increase in the connection fee from $5 to $20, bringing it in line with other governments in the area. According to Cheek’s memo, Sylacauga and Leeds charge $25, Pell City charges $30, Anniston $45 and Shelby County $50.

Although part of a different agenda item, the council also signed off on new financial software from Tyler Technologies that will allow for online payments through the city’s website. Water and sewer customers will have access to services such as automatic payment, e-billing and online service requests. There will be an additional fee of $1.25 for paying online with a credit or debit card.