BY MARIE PULEO | POMPANO BEACH NEWS REPORTER
WATER RATES REDUCTION: To ease the financial burdens stemming from the coronavirus crisis, the City of Pompano Beach will be providing a one-time 20% discount on water bills for the month of May, for all residential and business water customers who receive water service from the City.
The temporary water rate reduction, approved by the City Commission on Tuesday, will be implemented for the May billing cycle, which began on May 1.
All Pompano Beach water customers that receive their water from Broward County Water and Wastewater Services (BCWWS) will also receive a one-time 20% rate reduction as a result of an agreement made between Pompano Beach and Broward County, said Pompano Beach Mayor Rex Hardin.
The County will apply the 20% discount to the water bills of the Pompano Beach residents and businesses that are serviced by BCWWS, and Pompano Beach will compensate the County for the discount.
“People are going through tough times right now and the City is trying to do everything possible to help our residents and business owners make it through this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hardin.
The fiscal impact to the City, not including the discount for the Broward County service area, will be approximately $415,000.
Commissioner Rhonda Eaton, who represents the residential areas of Cresthaven, the Highlands and Leisureville, which receive their water service from BCWWS, initiated the effort to establish an agreement with the County, along with Hardin and City Manager Greg Harrison.
The City Manager contacted Broward County Commissioner Lamar Fisher, who worked with his administrative staff to arrange the agreement.
“County Commissioner Fisher really went to bat for us,” said Hardin.
The County will try to implement the discount in time for the May billing cycle. Otherwise, the discount will be applied to the June billing period.
The 20% discount will apply to all potable (drinking) water on a customer’s bill, including potable water that is used for irrigation.
The base minimum charge for the water meter itself, as well as the per 1,000-gallon usage charge, will also receive the 20% discount.
The reduction will not apply to reuse water, because It is already a discounted water product, said Hardin.
There will also be no discount on the sewage charge portion of the bill because that charge comes from Broward County.
Residents and businesses that get their water service from Pompano, but are outside the city limits – such as Lighthouse Point, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Sea Ranch Lakes – will not get the 20% reduction.
In other efforts to assist its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Pompano Beach has suspended water service cut-offs through May 17, which may be extended. The City also will not be assessing any late fees for water bill payments.
The City Commission’s approval of the 20% water rate reduction came on the same day that Florida Power and Light (FPL) received approval to reduce its rates by approximately 25% for the month of May.
“Between the City and FPL, residents should feel a little better about their utility bills,” said City Manager Greg Harrison.
For more information regarding COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) website.
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