Utility Rate Update

Published on December 27, 2023


Due to rising operating costs, including electricity, gas and chemicals, the sewer fund balance was expected to close 2022 at a deficit balance. At that time, the Council voted to approve the administration’s recommendation to look at modest increases to water and sewer rates over the next three years to help offset those costs. An increase was made in the summer of 2022, and authorized for January 2023 (3%), 2024 (2.5%) and 2025 (2.5%).

By the 2022 ordinance, water rates will increase 2.5% for the bill issued in January. This is approximately $.20 per unit and will increase the average bill less than $1.

The sewer rates have been moved to a revised schedule and will experience the first rate increase funding the wastewater infrastructure project of 52.8% for the January billing. This is $3.813 per unit for service inside the city and impacting the average bill roughly $12 per month. 

The rate increases were approved at a “worst case” level in order to present to state and federal agencies such as the EPA, that money would be there to pay for improvements to comply with regulatory requirements.   As has been discussed in recent Council meetings, options are under review that have the potential to lower those costs. But, until a plan is finalized and revised estimate of costs are available, the rates approved in August 2023, must be in place.

The deterioration of our utility infrastructure did not happen in just the last few years. It has accumulated over many years and cannot be delayed. Ordinances have been put in place that require regular inspection and report to Council so that action is taken to keep our city operating smoothly in the future.


Tagged as: