February 17, 2019
Uncategorized

PRESS STATEMENT: NEW GARBAGE COLLECTION AND WATER CONSUMPTION RATES

NEW GARBAGE COLLECTION AND WATER CONSUMPTION RATES

The Grand Bahama Port Authority wishes to confirm that an increase in garbage collection, and water consumption rates are now in effect as of January 1, 2019.  We recognize that these are challenging times for most, and indeed note the concerns voiced by Grand Bahama residents.  This statement outlines what initiated the increase, and the positive impacts we intend to attract to our economy as a result of the rate change.

Garbage collection rates and water consumption rates are reviewed every three years, and based on the cost of living adjustments, rates are modified accordingly.  The last garbage collection rate increase of 5% was in December 2014, while the water consumption rates remained consistent for a period of 7 years before it’s recent change by 5%.  Eighty-Six percent (86%) of water customers consume less than 5,000 gallons on a monthly basis, with an average bill of around $20; Therefore, a 5% increase translates to $1.  Likewise, residential garbage rates would see an increase by $1.38 monthly.

Despite the historical three-year review periods, both garbage collection and water consumption rate increases were delayed in recent years; recognizing the impact of hurricane Matthew, resulting in a deferment of a rate increase originally slated for January 2017.  Acknowledging that rate increases are not always received in a positive light, it is important to point out that as we aim to provide reliable and efficient utility services, the associated costs are inherent.

Please note that the long standing practice of communications were utilized, as with previous rate increases; which is to notify all customers through their billing statements.  Effective December 1, 2018, notices were placed on all bills to make customers aware of the new rates as of January 1, 2019 for garbage collection and water consumption rates. The increase in water consumption rates will appear firstly on the February 2019 billing statement.

The mission of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, to better the lives of the residents of Grand Bahama Island, focuses on maintenance, improved and modernized infrastructure of all components related to the mechanics of a first rate city.  In this regard, collections received are immediately used for the upkeep of the city.  Improvements will continue for Grand Bahama which include but are not limited to: restoration of city assets related to damage caused by hurricanes, storm surges, tornadoes and severe weather conditions, maintenance and resurfacing of roads, demolition of derelict buildings, removal of abandoned vehicles, indiscriminate dumping and the collection of loose litter debris throughout the city.  These resources permit us to deliver these upgrades most effectively.

We sincerely hope this will not cause any undue hardship. To the contrary the objective is to improve existing systems and infrastructure and in the case of water, give customers the ability to monitor and reduce their water bill through new technology.

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