Utility bills increase in Charlotte County to compensate for rapid growth

Charlotte County leaders said the area is experiencing rapid growth. To compensate, the county wants to increase utility bills for residents.

Max Jaroszewski said he understands why county commissioners in Charlotte County have to raise his utility bills.

“There are 40-year-old septic tanks in our county that must be replaced because they’re leaking,” Jaroszewski said.

But Pat Harris said she does not feel the same way.

“The people are not going to stand for this,” Harris said. “We’ve had enough of it. What I want to know is why you have not fixed your system, the problems with it over the years.”

Dozens of Charlotte County neighbors watched as their commissioners voted unanimously in favor of raising monthly utility rates by 21 percent over the next three years. It would go into effect on April 1, 2019. Water, along with septic and sewer charges, will see increases.

County commissioners said the increase is necessary to pay for fixing old pipes and installing new lines when needed. The County will reevaluate its decision come 2021 to make sure every penny is being allocated to good use.

But some neighbors said they could not afford more expensive bills.

“It’s going to hit us very hard,” Steven Konjoian said. “A lot of people in my neighborhood are going to be paying in excess of a thousand dollars more a year, in addition to what we’re already used to paying.”

Jaroszewski said eventually, everyone will cope with the change.

“I’m not for it because I gotta pay it,” Jaroszewski said. “But I see they have to do it. I see why they’re doing it.”

Writer:Michael Mora
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