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Pictured from top are Mayor Mary Person, Councilman Clifton Threat, Alysha Edwards.

During the recent Emporia City Council meeting, city residents voiced their concerns about their water bills.

Reginald Harris from Emporia asked why, when he lives alone, his water bill is the same as a household of four. He also asked why his water bill is the same after being gone for a month compared to when he is home for a month. 

City Manager William Johnson said there is a minimum bill for the first 2,000 gallons of water. People not using any water will get a bill for their connection and their ability to have water and sewer, including the 2,000 gallons. Pricing for anything above 2,000 gallons depends on uses.  

Francine Lewis asked why water bills rise if people must buy drinking water at the store.

“If it’s not fit for us to drink, why do we have to pay more money?” Lewis said.

Johnson said the water is safe to drink because it gets tested regularly. Money collected from raised bills pays for repairs to water and sewer infrastructure. In other action:

June 19 gained recognition as Juneteenth Day during the Emporia City Council meeting.

“Juneteenth today celebrates African American freedom and achievement while encouraging self development and respect for all cultures,” Emporia Mayor Mary Person said. 

The FY2021 General and Utility Fund Operating Budget public hearing took place.  

City Manager William Johnson said total funds between the utility fund and the general fund comes to $30,200,612.