The district currently serves approximately 403 customers at a base rate of $68 dollars per month, but an additional 188 customers residing in Tuscany or The Shores, multi-family residential units, have only been paying $59 dollars per month.

Approximately 188 customers of the Camelot Sewer District will see their service rates increased by $120 dollars per year, or nine dollars per month, after the Camden County Commission approved a new rate for residences within Tuscany and The Shores condominium complexes.

Camden County Sewer Board Chaiman Tom Schlatter made the recommendation on behalf of the Board on Thursday morning which was subsequently approved by a unanimous vote of the commissioner’s office.

The district currently serves approximately 403 customers at a base rate of $68 dollars per month, but an additional 188 customers residing in Tuscany or The Shores, multi-family residential units, have only been paying $59 dollars per month.

“It’s the same that everyone else is paying, it’s not an increase for a majority of people,” Schlatter said. “The board thought that this would be fair and equitable plan. We’ve been very reluctant to raise rates.”

The rate increase will generate approximately $20,000 dollars per year, Schlatter said, which is needed to bolster its debt service fund account required by the United States Department of Agriculture to contain a year’s worth of reserve payments on hand as per federal rules and regulations.

The sewer district currently has about $176,000 of the $191,315 dollars necessary and has been unable to close the roughly $15,000 dollar gap.

“We didn’t get in trouble. I thought we might get cited. Two years ago we did when they said are debt service wasn’t up to where it was supposed to be,” Schlatter told the commission. “This would bring in sufficient revenue to cover our shortfall and there is precedence in Normak and Sunny Slope (Sewer Districts).”

First District Commissioner Bev Thomas said that the account was “pretty close” to having sufficient funds, but the rate increase appeared to be necessary to satisfy the USDA.

Thomas made the motion to approve the proposal based on the sewer board’s recommendation, which was seconded and duly passed by Second District Commissioner Don Williams.

“We’re running right on the edge,” Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty commented.

Customers of Tuscany and The Shores can expect to see the new rate increase starting on 2018 bills.