Utility concerns discussed at Gautier City Council meeting

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Things got heated at a regularly scheduled Gautier City Council meeting tonight.

Gautier Appointed Representative to the Jackson County Utility Authority Marshall Smith found himself in hot water after the city discovered a soaring utility rate over the years.

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Tonight, board members highlighted that in just a year the annual rate increased 11.3 percent where the utility usage only increased 3 percent.

Smith was appointed in 2013. The board cited the overall bill at the start of his term was just more than $1 million dollars, now it’s more than $2 million. Smith said, “We base our rates on a three-year average flow rate. To the sewer treatment plant we meter, we know how much they send us every day, every month. They sent us roughly 60 million gallons last year more than what was in their budget. We have to collect that.”

Tonight, the board unanimously voted to ask Smith to resign from his appointment to which he responded: “I will serve out my six-year term.”