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Donaldsonville residents could see increase in water bills

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DONALDSONVILLE – Some residents in Ascension Parish could see an increase in their water bills soon.

Officials say the water system in Donaldsonville is old and in need of repairs. In order to pay for the work, officials are recommending a 30 percent increase in water bills.

One Donaldsonville resident, Joshua Washington, has been paying about $400 a month for his water service.

However, Washington could see his water bill increase by about $53 if a proposed rate goes into effect.

"That's outrageous. That's a bunch a nonsense I think," he said.

Ascension Parish Chief Administrative Officer Ken Dawson says the parish took over the water district in Donaldsonville about six months ago. Dawson said the increase is an investment in the water system.

"If we are doing things that's going to prevent any boil water notices, if we are doing things that are going to prevent issues that they are going to have, use bottle water to cook with, than that's an investment that's well worth it," Dawson said.

Dawson said the increase could cost more than $5 million, but it could save homeowners money in the long run.

"We're looking at increasing the size of the lines so there's a possibility they would get better fire protection and the possibility of reducing their fire insurance rates," Dawson said.

Dawson questioned if residents would prefer a water system that is worse.

"Would you rather invest in having quality water. Having your systems pure or would you rather go to an instance like Flint, Michigan?"

The proposed rate increase goes before the parish utility committee on Tuesday and then to full council when it meets on June 13.


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