It’s official now … Electric City’s water and sewer rates are going up.
The council had indicated a willingness two weeks ago to increase both utility rates in 2013 and 2014, and passed resolutions to do so at its meeting last Tuesday night.
First to get the hike is the sewer rate which goes up $5 a month Jan. 1, 2013. Look for another sewer hike of $5 a month on Jan. 1, 2014.
Water rates start going up July 1, 2013, with a $5-per-month hike, and another $5 a month on July 1, 2014.
Mayor Jerry Sands explained recently that the increases were necessary because of dwindling reserve funds in both utilities. He noted that only a few years ago, the city nearly financed its utility programs through the high interest rates received through investing its surpluses.
The current water rate in Electric City is $33.99 for up to 10,000 gallons of water. That increases to $38.99 on July 1, 2013, and to $43.99 on July 1, 2014.
The current sewer rate is $25.79 a month and will move to $30.79 on Jan. 1, 2013 and to $35.79 on Jan. 1, 2014.
Sands noted that the city of Electric City has 14 miles of sewer pipe, much of it in poor condition. He said that some 3,500 feet of pipe has been relined. Relining existing sewer pipes with plastic liners costs about half of what it would to completely replace pipe.
Public works director Ken Dexter told the council recently that you can reline the pipes now for $50 a foot, or wait and pay $100 a foot later to completely replace the pipes.
The council’s next meeting will be Jan. 8, 2013, at 7 p.m.