Update: Wichita will consider utilities rate increase next month

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

Proposed Water & Sewer Rate Increases for 2014

Residential 3,750 gallons: $1.33 (3.7%)

Residential 7,500 gallons: $2.36 (4.5%)

Residential 15,000 gallons: $5.20 (5.4%)

Commercial 100,000 gallons: $29.29 (6.1%)

Industrial 10 million gallons: $2,721 (6%)

 

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WICHITA, Kans. - The Wichita City Council will continue to discuss a proposal to increase water and sewer rates by 5.6-percent for 2014.

The rate increases are based on the 10-year financial model vetted by the City Council last year. They include a water rate increase of 6-percent and a sewer rate increase of 5-percent.

"Tries to get rate payers predictability about when increases would be going into effect and also try to levelize them so there aren't large spikes," said Ben Nelson, strategy manager for Wichita Public Works and Utilities.

Nelson said the increases will help pay for infrastructure maintenance and upgrades.

"We have a lot of water and sewer mains that are old and aging and they need some rehabilitation. So, we've been using the money that we've gotten from past increases and will do so with this one to put back into our water and sewer systems," said Nelson.

If approved, residential customers may pay between $1.33 to $5.20 more per month, depending on water use. Commercial customers who use 100,000 gallons would pay 6.1-percent more or $29.29 extra per month.

Two weeks ago, the City Council approved a new "H2O Care Plan." It can provide one-time assistance for customers who need help paying bills.

The council will have a second reading of this proposal at the December 3rd meeting.


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