Rehoboth Beach set to increase water rates in April
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – Starting April 1st, Rehoboth Beach residents and business owners will see a hike in their water rates. To be exact water will go up 30 percent and wastewater will see an increase of 60 percent.
Long time Rehoboth Beach residents George and Betty Bailey tell 47 ABC,”It’s outrageous. It’s just not fair for the people that are from here and support this place all year and the people that rent their places out for $5,000 a week, that’s a different story for them but for all of us that support 365 days a year. It’s not fair.”
But the city of Rehoboth Beach doesn’t have a choice due to the costs that have come with constructing and completing the ocean outfall project.
Rehoboth Beach Mayor Paul Kuhn says, “We’ve spent approximately $42 million and knowing that this was coming for the last ten years or so we’ve been preparing our rate payers with information that rates will be going up a lot to pay for this debt.”
30 and 60 percent rate increases that were suggested by an outside consulting firm back in November.
“So if you had a bill of $100 in the last quarter, the bill would be $160 for the next quarter and that’s for the wastewater rates. Simultaneously the same kind of thing for the water rates.”
Mayor Kuhns tells 47 ABC it’s the only way to keep water rates fair and reasonable for the fluctuating population the city sees every summer and winter.
“Some of the residents whether you have a rental residence that you use for 10 weeks for 12 people on a weekly basis is going pay a lot more than a couple that lives next door that uses it for twelve months, but it’s just two of them.”
But George and Betty Bailey believe it’s still too much.
“You’re taking the people that are born here, that are here in their retirement they’re not being able to afford the hikes.”
Now we’re told the increase in rates could fluctuate after the first quarter but that’s only if the working group finds a different and better way to address to the city’s debt.