Beginning August 1, 2015 the sewer flat rate will increase $4.00 from the current $15.35/dwelling unit to $19.35/dwelling unit and $.01 in the sewer usage rate to $4.67/1,000 gallons of usage from it current $4.66/1,000 gallons of usage. Water debt will increase $1.75 from its current $4.69/unit to $6.44/unit. Water usage rates will increase $.03 from $3.65/1,000 gallons of usage to $3,68/1,000 gallons of usage.
The increase was a recommendation after a Capitol Improvement Plan outlining the needs of the City for the next 15-20 years was put together. When that revealed the City could not realistically meet the needs of its failing infrastructure without looking at increasing water and sewer rates; a rate study was conducted to study the issue and identify the needs of the City.
The study was done to locate reasons for the water treatment plant’s treating more water than is being produced on a daily basis. “We are treating approximately four time more water at the plant than the wells are producing,” said DPW Director Tom Stressman. “The problem is we have an aging system and a lot of infiltration and that is driving costs up the board,” he explained.
The sanitary sewer evaluation study showed excessive infiltration at the Main and Oak Streets area and misaligned sewer at E. Cherry St. Lining the sewer pipe and manhole rehabilitation, aimed at eliminating excessive infiltration, is currently underway at E. Cherry St.
The revenue from the increases will help offset expenses for this project and others planned in the coming months as well as existing capital and operational and maintenance expenses.
Both water and sewer budgets will continue to be monitored throughout the coming year.