Savings in fuel costs and maintenance are among the positives, two years after Energy Pensacola and Emerald Coast Utilities Authority teamed up on a compressed natural gas program.
“Today is a big day for Pensacola,” said Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward, speaking in 2012 at the opening of the first CNG fueling station on Pine Forest Road in 2012. “We’re not just opening a natural gas fueling station. We’re embarking on a new energy future for our community.”
As part of WUWF’s look back at Hurricane Ivan on its 10th anniversary, it turns out the storm did lead the way towards replacing Pensacola’s water treatment plant, which had been in service since 1937.
Ivan’s 100-plus mile and hour winds and storm surges of up to 15 feet mortally wounded the Main Street Treatment plant. A power outage knocked it off line for three and a half days -- resulting in a toxic brew of storm water, storm surge and raw sewage flooding parts of downtown Pensacola.
The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority is considering raising rates next year.
During a unanimous vote last week, the ECUA Board approved a 3% hike in water and wastewater rates, and 3.5% for sanitation. If it gains final approval as early as next month, residential water bills would go up about $3.44, depending on usage.
Board member Lois Benson says the increases are aimed at higher tipping fees at Escambia County's Perdido Landfill, and upgrading infrastructure – the deficiencies of which were evident during the storms and flooding in late April.