Water and sewer rates in the city of Bowling Green could be going up as early as February 1st. Bowling Green Municipal Utilities’ proposal to raise rates will be presented to the City Commission on Tuesday.
Commissioner and BGMU board member Rick Williams tells the Daily News, the extra revenue will go to improve aging infrastructure. Under the proposal, rates would also go up on July 1 of 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Inside BGMU's water treatment plant as workers conduct over a million tests per year on Warren County's drinking water
For 72 hours earlier this month, residents in Toledo, Ohio were told not to use the city’s water because of toxic algae bloom. It’s a story that gave many a renewed appreciation for being able to turn on a faucet and drink what comes out.
In Warren County, Bowling Green Municipal Utilities is in charge of the treating the water and delivering it to the community.
Doug Kimbler, superintendent of treatment plants, took us on a tour last week so we could get a better idea of what actually goes into the process. We started by overlooking the source: the Barren River on the east side of downtown. Then, we briefly stepped inside.
“We have two pumps actually running in here right now, it’s fairly hot day for Bowling Green. We’ll probably produce somewhere between 21 and 22 million gallons of water between Bowling Green and Warren County for the day,” said Kimbler above the din of the pumps.
Both Warren RECC and Bowling Green Municipal Utilities report that some residents and businesses have been contacted by individuals representing themselves as employees and attempting to obtain credit card information.
The caller tells the member he or she has an overdue bill, which can be paid for over the phone with a credit card. Both utilities remind customers they do not accept credit card information over the phone.
The calls are being reported as coming from different areas within an eight county area in south central Kentucky.
The Kentucky Public Service Commission is asking electric and natural gas utilities to work with customers who are having difficulty paying higher heating bills in the wake of this harsh winter.
The agency that regulates the state's utilities sent a letter to chief executives of the utilities urging the electric and natural gas providers to "be as flexible as possible in avoiding disconnections and in allowing customers to make arrangements to extend their payments."
PSC Chairman David Armstrong says the higher monthly bills could come as a shock to many customers. The Commission says assistance is available from the state through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program known as LIHEAP. A number of utilities have also announced increase corporate contributions to their assistance programs.
Bowling Green Municipal Utilities and the Tennessee Valley Authority are asking customers – both businesses and residential – to assist in conserving power today. Temperatures are expected to remain frigid through Friday, further taxing the electric grid. Shelley Lowe with BGMU says homeowners can take easy steps to save energy.
“It can be simple things like at home, not running your appliances. If you can wait a few days – that would be great; lowering your thermostat to 60 degrees and reducing the usage of lights and unplugging things that aren’t in use,” said Lowe.
Lowe says this “emergency load curtailment” request may be lifted on Friday as temperatures gradually warm. The National Weather Service predicts highs in the mid-20s by Friday and upper 30s by Saturday.