For the third consecutive year, water and wastewater rates for St. Johns County Utility customers in Ponte Vedra are increasing as part of a four-year rate adjustment program approved by the St. Johns County Commission in 2016.
According to Frank Kenton, assistant Utility director of finance and administration, the new rates became effective Oct. 1 following notices that were sent to customers, and the increase should be reflected on the first full billing cycle after the effective date. Kenton noted the rates have increased by 2 percent for water and 8.5 percent for wastewater. This is the third increase, he said, with one more coming in October 2019. At the end of that term, Kenton said the rate structure will return to annual indexing.
The rate adjustment program is helping fund the Utility’s new water reclamation facility at the PLAYERS Club site, which is adjacent to the Woodlands Creek neighborhood in Ponte Vedra Beach. According to the Utility, the new facility is consolidating three of Ponte Vedra’s aged wastewater treatment plants into one state-of-the-art facility made of concrete that will last for 30 to 50 years.
“It will ultimately provide an advanced treatment wastewater facility that provides higher quality effluent,” Kenton said.
According to the Utility, the three facilities to be phased out include the current treatment plant at the PLAYERS Club site, the Sawgrass waste water treatment plant and the Innlet Beach wastewater treatment plant. The new facility will cover residents living in the southern end of the Ponte Vedra service area. Marsh Landing, according to the Utility, will continue to utilize its own wastewater treatment facility. The project, which is expected to be complete in mid-2020, will cost about $30 million.
The St. Johns County Utility covers about 80 percent of the Ponte Vedra service area, with JEA covering the remainder in the northeast section of town near the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. JEA told the Recorder that there are no plans announced to raise rates for its water/wastewater customers in Ponte Vedra.