Q&A: Manassas Park Councilman Talks Water Bill Hike
Manassas Park Councilman Preston Banks talks about the recent water, sewer bill increase and plans to help rectify the system.
Manassas Park Councilman Preston Banks was the sole member of the governing body to vote against a water and sewer base fee increase in May.
The reason for the increase is to repair the city's aging water system to pay for debts belonging to the Upper Occoquan Service Authority (UOSA), the entity that handles the city’s sewer. The money will also be used to pay back money the city borrowed to buy water rights from the City of Manassas and the Service Authority of Prince William County.
Banks answered questions from Patch regarding the increase and ways the water and sewer system can be improved while deceasing costs for residents.
Patch: How have residents reacted to the increased in their water and sewer bills?
Banks: I've talked to people in person, over the phone and email; they are upset.
Patch: You were the only council member to vote against the increase. You said there are other ways to conquer the water problems. What are some of those alternative ways?
Banks: We can join Prince William County's Service Authority or Fairfax County's Water Authority and, through working out the terms in the agreement, ensure that we will be charged affordable rates.
Patch: Are you still looking into those options?
Banks: Even after the vote, I'm working on alternative solutions to this water issue. It just comes down to the belief that as long as I’m breathing, I will always be developing and advocating ideas and solutions and reforms for Manassas Park to thrive, and saying, ‘hey, this needs to be changed,’ or ‘how about we try this idea to improve things.’
Patch: Raising the water rate seems to be one of the most immediate ways to make a change. If implemented, how soon can any of the ideas you have in mind have an effect?
Banks: It's difficult to provide a time frame. That's because factors such as surveying our water system and negotiating the terms of an agreement are some of things that will take time.
- Manassas Park Water and Sewer Bill Set to Increase
- Doc Drop: City Council Meeting Agenda May 1
- Why Are the Water Bills in Manassas Park Higher This Month?
- Residents Question Officials Over Proposed Water Bill Increase
- Missing Water, Years of Operating in Red, Could Cause City Utility Bills to Increase
- Public Works Director Explains City's Water, Sewer Issues
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