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Fort Pierce Commissioners Approve FPUA Rate Hikes for Water, Sewer, Gas and Electric Services

FP sewage plant.jpg
Photo courtesy FPUA
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Rates for water and sewer service will rise 10%; electric and gas rates will climb 9.5%

Forty Pierce - Tuesday May 17, 2022: The Fort Pierce City Commission narrowly approved a series of resolutions Monday night raising water, sewer, gas and electric rates for all FPUA customers by as much as 10% by the end of this year.

The rate hikes will enable the utility to get the bond approval they need to pay for moving the old sewer plant off South Hutchinson Island and expand all its other services in the years ahead.

It was close, 2 Commissioners opposed the hikes, 3 voted in favor of the resolutions that will increase utility rates for all Fort Pierce Utility Authority [FPUA] customers by the year.

Water and sewer rates will rise 10%. The first 5% kicks in by July, the second 5% hits in October. That's to pay for moving the sewer plant. The installation of smart meters and expand gas services will be covered by a 9.5% rate increase in electric and gas services which will rise 5% in July and 4.5% in October.

rate hike graphic.jpg
Image courtesy FPUA
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“You’ve shown us a window of opportunity," Commissioner Tom Perona said. "You know the interest rate at 3.5%, as long as we pull the trigger in the next week. Demand for expansion is here right now and I really think we need to proceed with this opportunity at this time.”

The City's 2 District 1 Commissioners, Arnold Gaines and Curtis Johnson Jr., voted against all the rate increases.

Johnson pointed out that his constituents face steep increases because many of the homes they own and rent are not energy efficient. “66% of the people that live in District 1 are renters. That is the real hard core fact that I have to deal with. They don’t even control that property, it’s up to that property owners and they’re not motivated to do anything. Yes, I want it moved, but I know some real hurt," he said.

This is one of the biggest things we’ve ever done," said Mayor Linda Hudson. "It’s cause for celebration but it also is going to bring some paid so we’re all going have to commit to being good to our rate payers.”