In order to keep pace with inflation and the cost of doing business, In October of 2013 the Jones Public Works Authority Board of Trustees voted to institute an automatic utility rate increase equal to the Federal Governments Cost of Living Adjustment or COLA. In the subsequent years the COLA increase has been: 2014, 1.7%, 2015, 0.0%, 2016, 0.3%, 2017, 2.0%, 2018, 2.8%, 2019, 1.6%, 2020, 1.3%, 2021, 5.9%. COLAs are typically announced in December and take effect the following January.
In July of 2021, the Jones Board of Trustees asked for the citizens’ trust and support a .01c Sales Tax increase to fund “capital improvements.” In exchange for this support, we committed that utility rates would not be increased. The measure passed and although the COLA increase and a rate increase to pay for capital improvements are completely separate issues, they are increases nonetheless.
In keeping that trust and due to the unusually high COLA increase, during the Jan. 4, 2022, Jones Public Works Authority meeting, the Trustees voted to suspend the 2021 Utility COLA automatic increase of 5.9% that would have gone into effect in January of 2022. The automatic increase was reported in the December 2021 utility billing insert.