Water, sewer and storm water management rates are expected to rise in the City of Myrtle Beach in 2019.
Water and sewer rates are expected to rise 3.9 percent and storm water management rates could go up 8.7 percent.
So what do these rate increases mean for city residents?
During a Myrtle Beach City Council budget retreat Monday morning, members discussed the raise for water and sewer, which would add an additional $1.89 per month onto the bill of a household that uses an average 7,500 gallons per month if city council members approve the increase.
Over a year, that is an increase of $22.73 for a residential user.
For commercial buildings such as restaurants using roughly 40,000 gallons, the increase will total $130.67 a year and for commercial buildings like hotels using about 2,000,000 gallons, the increase will total $6,454.27.
Part of the price increase comes from Grand Strand Water and Sewer, which raised rates for the city. According to documents provided by Mark Kruea, Myrtle Beach spokesman, Grand Strand Water and Sewer is increasing water rates by 2.3 percent and sewage rates 2.5 percent.
The remaining money from the rate increase for city residents will be used for capital projects and yearly fees.
“Every year we have a rate study done to determine what our rates need to be to cover capital expenditures, to cover inflation costs and operations from year to year, whether it’s utilities, the cost of water, the cost of employees,” Michelle Shumpert, director of the city’s finance management and reporting department, said.
“That and our capital needs,” she said. “We are going to be proposing over the next couple of years to replace a number of pump stations. Our pump stations are aging, and they’re very expensive.”
According to Shumpert, Grand Strand Water and Sewer is expected to raise rate again in January 2020.
As for storm water management, the increase will total $6 for a home, $35.88 for a medium hotel and $37.64 for a restaurant.
Money for the storm water management fund will be used for drainage and outfall projects, Shumpert said.