City leaders approve Wichita water and sewer rate increases
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - The Wichita City Council has voted 6-0 in favor of increasing sewer and water rates.
The recommended rate adjustments for 2023 are 6.25% for water and 3% for sewer, for a combined rate adjustment of 4.95%. The recommended rate adjustments are the same as those that have been shared with the City Council since December 2019.
The proposed rate adjustments were included in the financing plans with the Environmental Protection Agency for the Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act loan, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for the State Revolving Fund loan for the NWWF and BNR projects.
The City of Wichita is considering increasing water and sewer rates "to cover the ongoing cost of providing water and sewer utility services to customers."
According to the City Council agenda for next Tuesday, up for consideration is a water rate increase of 6.25% and a sewer rate increase of 3% for a combined rise of just under 5%.
The agenda says that each year, the council is asked to approve rate adjustments. If approved, the recommended adjustments would take effect January 1.
"Rate adjustments ensure the Utility meets revenue requirements to fund ongoing operations, maintenance, and construction of assets for the water and sewer utilities. Operations and maintenance include personnel, contracts, and commodities needed to effectively provide water and sewer services," the agenda says. "Rate adjustments also fund projects within the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which include new construction, renewal and replacement, and expansion projects."
Significant projects impacting rate adjustments include the $553 million Northwest Water Facility project, the $357 million Biological Nutrient Removal project, as well as the other $448 million water and sewer projects in the Adopted 2023-2032 CIP.
The city said that every five years, the utility engages an independent consultant to perform a cost of service analysis. The latest was completed this year and shared with the council in August.