Bo Beasley doesn't usually keep groceries on his desk.
But on Friday, Beasley, the deputy executive director of the Augusta County Service Authority, had a can of corn and a jar of peanut butter to use as props to help put proposed water and sewer rate hikes in perspective.
"The combined (water and sewer rate increases) for this year is going to be about nine percent," Beasley said.
The proposal would increase the average customer's water bill by 91 cents a month, or the price of the can of corn. The sewer bill would increase by $2.05, the cost of the peanut butter.
But some county residents don't want to see any increases.
"In Mount Sidney, there are a lot of elderly individuals who live up in here," said Angie Davidson. "They're already on a fixed income. Raising even a dollar or two, it can cause them even more hardships than they already got."
"It's hard on people like me," said Eleanor Hoover, who turns 82 next week. "I've worked all my life, and I haven't been able to save anything. I've had to use it."
But Beasley says the increases are necessary.
"We are all rate driven," he explained. "We don't receive funds from anything other than our customers."