WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Commission voted 4-1 this morning to help people in the community without water.
Commissioner Rick Catlin explained that the county has already raised $10,000 privately toward the more than $150,000 needed to help waterless residents. Catlin says the county should continue to utilize all the resources it has to promote more contributions from private donors.
“It’s a public health concern,” Catlin said. “Not having water, you can’t wash your hands. We have flu season coming up. You got kids going to school dirty. Those are just basic public health needs. We’re the United States of America; we’re not Haiti. You look at what happened after the Haiti earthquake or after Katrina. What’s the first thing we do? We bring people water, because we recognize that that’s a basic human need.”
Brian Berger was the only commissioner who voted against the program. He says the rates should be adjusted rather than the bills paid by donations.
He says he voted against a proposal in April while he sat on the CFPUA Board that would have raised rates to increase revenue 13.1%. But then, according to CFPUA Board minutes from the same meeting, voted minutes later to change water tier rates as well as to raise rates per each tier change.
Catlin says he does not understand why anyone would oppose donating to a good cause.
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