Helena-West Helena gets emergency water rate increase

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HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — A water hike is headed to Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, but city leaders say it won't break the bank for bill payers.

During Tuesday's City Council meeting it was decided that something had to be done right away, and it couldn't wait any longer.

"Our first priority is to have safe drinking water here,"

According to the mayor's office, a state expert gave the council options.

"He took a look at what we currently spend and various factors to figure out what we would need to break even and continue as we are,"

"Another option gave us the ability to build our reserve and have extra operating income,"

The council wanted to make a decision, but making the right choice will make all the difference in the direction of the city. Leaders agreed for now to increase the rate that has been one of the lowest in the state for years.

"The emergency increase is an additional $5 on the base rate of the $5 we have now,"

The increase will allow the city to at least start working on maintaining the water system and fixing issues that can't be overlooked.

Residents will notice an increase on their bills beginning in August.

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