City will also set residential connection fees at $7,200


The Sopchoppy City Council passed two ordinances to increase water rates and capacity fees inside and outside of the city limits of Sopchoppy.

For years, Sopchoppy has had a lower rate for residents within the city limits.
The rate increases are a result of a bill during the recent legislative session to require water rates to be equal for all users regardless of whether or not they live inside the providing city. Though the bill didn’t pass during session, city commissioners sought to prevent a more sudden increase when/if the bill does pass – with the ordinance to equalize the rates, which will go into effect on Oct. 1st, the start of the next fiscal year.
The first ordinance, passed at the city commission meeting on Monday, April 8, increases the rates for water usage both inside and outside the city limits, bringing the cost up to a base charge of $25.65 per month, and $3.65 per 1,000 gallons for all usage exceeding 3,000 gallons per month.
This is a significant increase for residents of Sopchoppy, as their monthly rate is $16, but is less drastic for those users who live outside the city limits, as they already pay $22 a month for their water.
A second ordinance that passed will charge $7,200 for each new residential or equivalent connection to the water system. This will not affect those who aleady are on the water system, and is intended to help pay for the improvements and expansions that are needed on the water system.
The charge is mostly intended to impact new subdivisions and developments that would put great strain on the water system, and because systems such as the one Spchoppy owns is required by law to expand to meet demand, these fees will help ensure that the funding for said expansions is always there.
There are exemptions for affordable housing, as long as the owner of the home meets the proper standards and files an application for defferral.
Both of these ordinances are part of the plans to update and expand the Sopchoppy water system, and will help to fund those much-needed improvements in the future.