Manassas Park residents expressed their intense displeasure to city council Tuesday about a proposed hike in their water and sewer bill that would be effective in next month's billing cycle.
If the increase is approved this month by city council, Manassas Park residents will pay $52 each month, even if they don’t use a drop of water or flush a single toilet.
The $52 is a base fee; any usage is an additional charge
Manassas Park resident Lori Mattison spoke at Tuesday's public hearing, telling her concerns to the governing body.
Mattison said the increase negates everything her condo association did to bring its fees to residents down.
She lives in The Reserve, a group of upscale condomiums located off Digital Drive near Manassas Park Station, not far from the Virginia Railway Express station.
The condo assoication had to omit $1,600 out of its budget and renegotiate several contracts just to decrease the assoication fee by $2 for every resident, Mattison said.
But with the pending increase in the water and sewer bill, whatever money she saves on her condo association fees has to go toward paying for water, she added.
“I said (to council) I thought it was a bad thing,” Mattison said after the meeting. “We are paying extra money for no improvements in the system. For condo owners, the demographics are usually newlyweds and retirees; they do not use as much water as a household with children. There’s an imparity in the terms of water usage.”
Additionally, units in foreclosure are still considered accounts and so the condo association is left to cover the $52 fee for those vacant units.
Former Manassas Park Mayor Frank Murphy also spoke out against the proposed increase and told City Council not to do it.
Council will have to make a decision this month about whether to implement the proposed hike in rates.
City staff said the increase is needed in order to repair the system, stop the enterprise fund from operating in the red and pay for utilities bonds that are due to increase by $1 million in 2016.
The city is a partial owner of the Upper Occoquan Service Authority and has to contribute to that entities' bond payments.