Beginning with the August statements from White Hall City Hall, municipal water rates, and monthly curbside garbage collection fee will increase. Aldermen voted unanimously Monday to increase the rates and fee.

Beginning with the August statements from White Hall City Hall, municipal water rates, and monthly curbside garbage collection fee will increase. Aldermen voted unanimously Monday to increase the rates and fee.

An ordinance unanimously approved by the city council raised the monthly charge for the first 1,000 gallons of water used by a household or business from $5.50 to $6; increases the rate for 1,001 to 10,000 gallons from $2.20 to $2.70 a month; and the monthly charge for each 1,000 gallons over 10,000 gallons from $1.74 to $2.24.

The White Hall Street, Water and Sewer Committee approved the rate hikes June 5 and sent them to the council with a recommendation to adopt the increases.

Mayor Noel Foster said the average household will see a $2 to $3 increase in monthly water charges, with low volume users encountering little impact from the water fee hikes.

Foster’s recommendation to increase the monthly fee for weekly residential trash collections from $12 to $12.50 a month was approved without dissent.

Foster said the trash collection fee has not been increased in five years and Waste Management’s contract with the municipality allows the firm to request hikes to cover operating expenses, including fuel and personnel costs.

White Hall collects fees for weekly trash collections for Waste Management, adding the charge to monthly statements for water and sewer services.

To avoid operating a deficit in the water department, Foster also recommended raising the water deposit and water reconnect fees He called for increasing the deposit fee for water service from $50 to $150 and raising the reconnect fee from $30 to $50.

While White Hall now buys water wholesale from United Water Arkansas, the municipality maintains the distribution system, including water meters, Foster noted.

Many of the meters have been used for several decades, he said, and do not always reflect water consumption levels. The water department has replaced meters for high volume users – schools and businesses – with new meters resulting in an increase in “billable water sales,” Foster told the committee.

Tom Paschall, the CPA who presented the annual water and sewer audit report to the committee earlier this month, recommended the city build up a reserve fund to pay for major problems that may surface from time to time.

Other cities the size of White Hall have at least $500,000 in reserve, the accountant pointed out.

Aldermen waived normal procedures and placed the two ordinances involving the rate increases on three readings Monday. Each amendment to an existing ordinance included an emergency clause.

In other action Monday:

– Members and coaches of the White Hall High School girls softball team and boys baseball team received proclamations noting they brought home state 5A state championship trophies.

Foster said signs have been erected at entries to the city noting While Hall is home to two state championship teams.

The mayor quipped to the students that no signs would be posted for Wes McNulty, a White Hall resident who captured his fifth Arkansas State Golf Association’s Stroke Play Championship Saturday at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock.

– Foster briefed aldermen on the status of the city’s fire substation that will be constructed on Hospitality Lane south of Sheridan Road. He said the architectural plans have been completed and the project is out for bids.

– The tract for the proposed civic center is “substantially clear” and the city is taking bids for stump removal and may burn some debris from the clearing, Foster said, adding if the bids are high the municipality may rent the necessary equipment and have city employees do the clearing.

– He reminded aldermen the annual Fourth of July fireworks show is on schedule, noting that local businesses underwrite the cost of the fireworks.