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Rates due to soar

WATER, DRAINAGE and waste management rates are due to rise substantially in some areas of the Algarve this year, as câmaras struggle to recoup millions of euros.

In some cases, rates will rise up to and above 20 per cent this year, but despite the increase, many câmaras will still experience a shortfall of millions of euros because rates are still below tariffs charged by private waste management companies, employed by câmaras.

Águas do Algarve, the company responsible for most of the region’s water supply and drainage, is due to charge 45 cents per cubic metre to treat water. In Lagoa, rates will be set at 33 cents per cubic metre, but since tariffs have not been changed by the câmara since 2003, residents will be hit hard with rises of 25 per cent. The situation is the same in Alcoutim, where rates will rise by an average of 20 per cent after remaining static for four years.

Fagar and Algar, rubbish collection companies, have also increased their tariffs, but in the case of Fagar, their proposal to increase tariffs by 46 per cent was rejected by the câmara, which promised that rates will not rise by more than 10 per cent.

In Lagos, water and waste management rates will increase by eight per cent this year, which will be the same tariff rise as 2006, Portimão rates will rise around three per cent, but this could increase as Águas do Algarve takes over the water management in the area. Tavira rates are expected to remain unchanged along with Loulé, among others.

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