Opa-locka commissioners tentatively agreed on Thursday to freeze water rates for the current budget year.
The city had planned on gradually raising rates because the rate the city pays for water from Miami-Dade County is expected to rise. The city buys water from the county and resells it to residents.
The freeze will cost the city about $100,000, City Manager Kelvin Baker said.
It was not immediately clear Thursday whether the city’s water system is making or losing money. In general, a city-run water system should break even, while providing enough extra income to save for needed repairs.
Mayor Myra Taylor wanted to freeze rates for two years, but Commissioner Dorothy Johnson and Vice Mayor Joseph Kelley balked, saying they were concerned about the rising county rates.
In the end, commissioners voted unanimously to approve the one-year freeze, The freeze can take effect if commissioners ratify their decision with a second vote on March 27.
Meanwhile, the city is installing new water meters for customers. The installations will not interrupt service.
Last December, commissioners approved $440,456 for the automated reading system upgrades. The meter upgrades will be installed by the city’s Utility Task Force.
The city established the task force to complete repairs and install upgrades throughout the city. The Utility Task Force will upgrade roughly 1,100 meters over a three month period. They will also inspect on foot all 7,400 meters in the city over a course of the year.
Opa- locka customers can call Public Works at 305-953-3058 for more information or visit www.opalockafl.gov.