CRESTVIEW ó Because of Councilman Mickey Rytmanís absence due to illness, city leaders couldnít make changes to water and sewer rates.


CRESTVIEW ó Because of Councilman Mickey Rytmanís absence due to illness, city leaders couldnít make changes to water and sewer rates.



Councilmen Thomas Gordon and Shannon Hayes voted in favor of a one-year 5 percent increase, while council president Robyn Helt and council member Joe Blocker voted against the motion.



Gordon's motion, seconded by Hayes, would have included a $1 monthly fee for storm water assessments.   



"We haven't had a (water) rate increase in the past 14 years," Gordon said. "We are past due." 



Customers would have noticed a 59-cent increase in their water bills if the motion had passed, City Clerk Betsy Roy said.



Helt agreed that a rate increase is necessary, but said such an increase should exceed the proposed amount.



Helt based her decision on information presented by Tetra Tech, an engineering and consulting firm that provided water-mapping services to the city.



"It was advised four years ago to have a 2 percent increase per year," Helt said. "By my estimation, we're 8 percent behind." 



 The council will discuss the issue during a future workshop, Roy said.   



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or matthewb@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.