Rock Hill City Council Monday gave final approval to electric and stormwater rate hikes that would add about $7 to the average residential utility bill.
The new rates take effect July 1 with the city absorbing 0.7 percent of the total 6.7 percent increase, or approximately $600,000. The rate hike comes as the city’s power provider, Palmetto Municipal Power Agency, increased the wholesale price of power. The remaining six percent will be passed on to utility customers.
The rate hike had little resistance from residents Monday and passed a second reading with no discussion by council.
“We try to absorb as much of [the increase] as we feel like we can,” Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols said at the first reading of the city’s budget June 9. “If we start absorbing more of it than what we end up doing is not doing the maintenance on the electric system…and that’s not good long-term.”
Stormwater fees are also set to rise by $0.71 per month for properties less than 10,000 square feet. City council and staff have identified a list of 100 stormwater improvement projects and plan on addressing those issues using a Pay As You Go method for stormwater operations.
The city’s proposed budget also includes hiring 18 new employees — nine in the city’s utilities division and nine in the public safety departments, including four new police officers. City employees would also receive up to a two percent merit increase.
Council Monday gave also gave final approval towards the annexation and rezoning of a 184-acre development along the eastern side of Mount Gallant Road north of Celanese Road.
“The Preserve” as Charlotte-based developer The Summit Group has called it, would include approximately 240 single-family homes and another 115 townhomes stretching between Mount Gallant and the Catawba River.
100 acres of the site would remain as a nature preserve. The site includes plans for light retail, a clubhouse and a pool.