Mobile Area Water and Sewer System (MAWSS) passed a budget for 2017 Monday that does not include a rate hike for its customers.
The $59.2 operations and maintenance budget was approved by the MAWSS board Monday without the 5-percent rate increase that was recommended by the MAWSS staff.
The rate hike was recommended to help raise funds for capital improvements, including replacing aging infrastructure like water pipes around the district.
While acknowledging the criticality of the infrastructure needs, MAWSS Director Charles Hyland recommended eliminating the increase in 2017 to allow an ongoing study to conclude, which could recommend rate restructuring as well as increases in 2018 and beyond.
“The Board is acutely aware of our need to renew aging infrastructure but wants to review the completed report before asking for another rate increase,” said Hyland in a press release. “This will allow us time to put together a more comprehensive plan to address long-term needs and affordability.”
If the rate would have been approved for 2017, it would have been the sixth year in a row that MAWSS had increased their rates.