Friday, February 24, 2017

March 9 Meeting in Vian to Address Water Rates

Vian trustees are seeking another water source after the Sequoyah County Water Association announced a rate increase to pay for a new water treatment plant and a 24-inch transmission line to cross the county.

The trustees announced a public meeting on the rate increase and alternative sources will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 9 at the Vian High School cafetorium.

Larry Vickers, the town’s attorney, said the public is invited to the meeting to voice their concerns and ideas.

“We are trying to get the word out that we are trying to do something about the rate increase,” Vickers said. “People are angry at the council because they think we’re raising the rates. We’re not. We’re trying to do something about it.”

The Sequoyah County Water Association is raising water rates, beginning March 1, to residential customers to pay for a new $22 million water treatment plant at Lake Tenkiller. Garner Garrison, the association board of directors president, said the cost to the Town of Vian will raise from $2.30 per 1,000 gallons to $3.20 per 1,000 gallons. Garrison said the association has offered to put off the rate increase until August for the town only to help cushion the rate hike.

Vickers said the rate hike amounts to a 40 percent increase, which is too much, especially after the town had to raise rates only a few years ago to offset improvements to the town’s water system.

“We understand the reason for the rate increase,” Vickers said, “but it’s too much all at once.”

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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