Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority's board of directors voted June 23 to raise rates for retail and wholesale customers.
That amounts to an increase of about 98 cents a month for the average residential, water-only customer, who uses about 7,000 gallons a month, according to a BJWSA news release. The average bill for a residential customer of both water and sewer service will rise by about $3.98.
Rising power and fuel expenses and a decline in residential and commercial growth prompted the utility's first rate hike in three years, according to the release.
"A rate increase is something that we undertake reluctantly, and only after much planning and analysis," general manager Dean Moss said in the release. "We want to ensure we continue to deliver the highest quality drinking water and wastewater treatment service to our customers, though we do not charge more than we absolutely must."
The increase will go into effect July 1 and represents a 5 percent increase in retail rates.