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Goshen water bills on the rise

Goshen residents will soon see an increase on their water bills. The Goshen City Council approved an ordinance last night that will raise the charges for water usage in Goshen.

The ordinance increases the rate from $8.50 for the first 2,000 gallons of water used in a month to $10.50.

For every additional 1,000 gallons, the charge will be $2.25.

According to Mayor Jack Waller, the increase is necessary due to higher expenses associated with maintaining the water system.

“We’re losing money in our water system. We had to make some repairs and our seven-year license came up for renewal,” Waller said. “The license cost $1,700 alone, so we lost $900 on our water system this past month.”

While an increase in water rates may upset some residents, councilman Carter Sanders said that residents understand that it is necessary.

“I’ve talked to several people and they all agreed that they do not want the Pike County Water Authority in Goshen,” Sanders said. “We still have some of the cheapest water in Alabama.”

Also discussed at the meeting was an effort to obtain stimulus package money from the Alabama Department of Energy.

The council approved a motion to allow Goshen to submit a joint application for stimulus funding with the city governments of Troy, Brundidge and Banks, as well as the Pike County Commission.

“We were told that individually, our chances of getting any of the money are virtually zero,” Sanders said. “Together, our chances are much greater.”

The Department of Energy is offering $6.2 million in stimulus grants to be used on projects to improve energy efficiency in Alabama.

Sanders will represent Goshen in the joint effort, but Goshen will not be the leader in the venture.

The council also approved the sale of the old Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. Building to Anthony Grant.

Bids were accepted through a sealed bid process and Grant’s bid of $25,001 was the lone bid.

A motion to delay the approval of closing costs and to allow Waller to handle the closing process was made and approved.

Tentative plans for a dinner in late June or early July were also discussed, with the topic of discussion at that dinner to be a possible restart of the town’s Neighborhood Watch program.

Also approved was the arrival of a farmer’s market in Goshen.

The council granted Marsha Boutwell permission to sell locally grown fresh produce in the town on Wednesdays.

Boutwell promised the council that all produce sold at the farmer’s market would be grown in Alabama.

The council also approved the purchases of reflective markers for fire hydrants, as well as the sale of old well pipes through a sealed bid process.