Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 18:18
Latest hike will be felt in January, but village wants another adjustment in 2016
The 3% increase in water rates previously approved by the Fredonia Village Board went into effect at the end of September.
However, the out-of-pocket impact of that increase won’t be felt by village water customers until the next quarterly bills are sent out in January.
The new rates are in effect now for customers who move out of the community and must get a partial, pro-rated bill.
Water consumption charges are now $1.52 per 1,000 gallons for the first 30,000 gallons used, and $1.38 per 1,000 gallons for the next 70,000 gallons.
For larger water users, the new rate is $1.18 per 1,000 gallons for the next 200,000 gallons of use and $1.02 per 1,000 for more than 300,000 gallons of use.
Quarterly service charges now range from $8.26 for 5/8-inch meters to $120.83 for four-inch meters.
Village sewer rates remain unchanged.
The 3% increase is the largest hike allowed by the Public Service Commission without a community having to go through a detailed approval process.
With the need to pay for Fredonia Avenue water main improvements and other utility upgrades, village trustees approved seeking bids from engineering firms to prepare a more in-depth rate hike study.
Village officials have said the cost of municipal water is considerably lower than surrounding communities.
Presuming the study finds the village is justified in raising its water rates greater than 3%, that increase would go into effect in the first quarter of 2016.
Despite the prospect of local water bills rising even higher, Trustee Don Dohrwardt said the findings of the water rate study and the anticipated subsequent rate adjustment are the only way the utility can keep pace with costly capital projects.
“If we left things up to annual 3% rate hikes, we could go from now until forever and never catch up with what the water utility has to spend,” Dohrwardt said.