Service charges rise

LISMORE ratepayers may soon have to pay more for water, sewerage and waste collection if the 2005/06 budget is approved by Lismore City Council.

Under the draft plan of management water charges will go up nearly 16 per cent, sewerage services will cost nearly 5 per cent more, and waste collection will now be nearly 3 per cent dearer if the budget is approved.

General manager Paul O'Sullivan said the increase in the cost of some services was on top of the council's proposal to move to a base-rate system in which all ratepayers pay $270, with the rest of their general rates determined by their land values.

Mr O'Sullivan said the jump in the water costs was beyond council's control and was because Rous Water was charging the Local Government area more to provide water to Lismore, and they were having to pass on that cost to ratepayers.

"Rous Water have increased their charges by 13 per cent effectively in Lismore," Mr O'Sullivan said.

"They have applied this new charge to pay for improvements to the local water supply.

"So when you take off the 13 per cent additional Rous charge, that means it's only a 2.8 per cent increase in the in- ternal costs of council providing water for residents.

"Last year we charged 93 cents per kilolitre, now becasue of the extra Rous Water charges in 2005/06 we will charge $1.11 per kilolitre."

Under the Budget basic residential sewerage charges would increase by 4.6 per cent in 2005/06, from $412 per year per residence, to about $432 this financial year.

Waste collection services will increase from $133.90 per bin, to $137.40 in 2005/06, an increase of 2.6 per cent, Mr O'Sullivan said.

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