Saturday, February 10, 2018

Huge Water Rate Increase Started Before 1-1-18

City water rates went up January 1, 2018 without a peep from City Council.  When our water bill arrived I was shocked by the increase.  The water portion of our January bill soared 11.6%.  The breakdown of the city's rate change is shown below:

I didn't expect the bill to go up so much since roughly half the usage would've occurred under the old rate had the bill been prorated.  I asked New Water Chief Allison Strube if I was charged the old rate for water usage from 12-18 to 12-31-17 and new higher rates for 1-1-18 to 1-18-18.  Strube informed me the bill was not prorated.  Thus our water rate increase occurred on 12-18-17, nearly two weeks earlier than indicated.

Council last addressed water rates in November 2017 when it tackled late fees and the water deposit.  That same month Council refused to give citizens a rebate from chronically high water bills.  It took creativity for staff to reduce $6.76 million in water funds to $3.58 million.

In December 2015 City Council approved an 11.5% increase in 2018 water rates, which was supposed to raise the average bill by $7.32 per month.  Our water bill rose $10.58 from the prior month and came in one tenth of one percent higher than what Council approved.

The current council did not address the automatic January increase.  They've been hand's off on water bill relief for citizens. 

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