The Fayetteville Public Works Commission has decided to treat Town of Hope Mills utility customers the same way it does City of Fayetteville customers. Hope Mills residents will enjoy so-called ‘in city’ water and sewer rates thanks to a decision last week by the PWC Board.
PWC purchased the Hope Mills water and sewer system 18 years ago. Officials recently determined that language in the purchase agreement was ambiguous. PWC spokesperson Carolyn Justice-Hinson said the discrepancy had just recently come to the utility’s attention.
“A couple of neighbors were comparing their bills and wondered why they were different,” said PWC Chairman Darsweil Rogers.
Public Works Commissioners decided language regarding rates had been interpreted in different ways resulting in rates for Hope Mills residents that were not being applied consistently.
“The PWC Board wanted to resolve the confusion related to this agreement and ensure rates are applied in a fair and consistent manner,” said Rogers. “We value our customers and are happy that we have been able to work with Mayor (Jackie) Warner and other Hope Mills officials to work out a resolution for our customers,” he concluded.
From now on, customers located inside the town limits who have been billed outside-the-city rates will be changed over to the lower in-city rates. Not only that, they’ll be refunded the difference they have paid for water and sewer services, presumably retroactively to 1998.
“PWC is very responsive to Hope Mills, and I appreciate the cooperation and concern they have shown by looking into this matter and making this decision that benefits our citizens,” said Mayor Warner.
PWC officials say they will work with Hope Mills town officials to identify customers affected by the change who are eligible for refunds.
A joint committee will identify current and past Hope Mills residents who will receive in-city utility rates. Those customers will be individually notified about pending changes and the refunds to which they’re entitled. Because the Hope Mills town limits have changed over time the review is expected to take several months to identify the customers who will receive refunds.