City Council continues plan to raise sewer rates
Alta City Council agreed to move forward on increasing sewage rates by 75 cents per thousand gallons, a part of increases planned after capital improvement plans reveled they needed to catch up on revenue to keep pace with infrastructure replacements and repairs.
The rate increase will be part of a schedule to keep pace.
“I think 75 cents is good,” Councilman Kevin Walsh said. “It’s kind of in the middle. I’m sure that it will get us through this year all right.”
The item will go through a few readings at future City Council meetings before it’s final.
Recommendations during capital improvement plan analysis told the City to charge enough to cover expenses, plus 10 percent.
A presentation from Storm Lake’s ISG at a budget meeting in January showed plans for just under $2 million in project costs for Alta’s five-year capital improvements plan, with much-needed sewer lining accounting for 65 percent of the cost.
Budget documents showed the deficit of $27,000 between annual revenue and expenses for the sewer fund.
The proposal recommended rate increases to cover operations, debt and capital improvement projects, which serve 757 residential and 57 commercial users. Under the proposal, current base rates of $12.59 should have been increased to $13.25 on Feb. 15, $14.50 on June 15, and $15.00 on Dec. 15. An extra quarter would be added to that rate in June 2021.
To cover storm water projects of over $500,000 covering 9th Street, West 2nd Street and NE 1st Street, the recommendations also ask the City to consider implementing a storm water utility to issue a $650,000 bond.
The 20 year payment schedule for the bond, divided among 792 residential and 94 commercial users, would amount to about $4 per household or business per month.
The City also signaled interest in decreasing garbage rates proportionally to cover the sewer rate increases.