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Second Round of Water, Sewer Rate Hikes Approved

Rates for both city services to increase by 9 percent in 2013; 5 percent hike in solid-waste fees passes

Starting next month Kent residents will see a jump in their water, sewer and solid waste rates as part of a series of rate hikes initially approved by Kent City Council in 2011.

Council members voted in November to approve the second round of several increases to billing rates for all three services.

Starting in January, water and sewer rates for 2013 will increase 9 percent from their existing rate. Solid waste rates will rise 5 percent.

For water, sewer and stormwater, the average household will see its bill increase by about $6 per month in 2013 compared with this year.

Council voted unanimously, with its newest member Scott Flynn abstaining, to approve the rate increases without comment Wednesday.

The rate increases were born in part out of a study the city conducted to determine the costs associated with operating and maintaining the city's water and sewer plants and their associated equipment, which includes 76 miles of water and 64 miles of sewer pipes running beneath the city.

Those studies determined that in the next 20 years the city will have to pay close to $211 million to operate its water and sewer utilities. That cost includes operations, such as employee costs and materials, and replacing equipment that is expected to wear out.

Rates are expected to increase by at least 8.5 percent annually for water and sewer through 2015. Rates will level off in 2016, but they will still increase annually by 3 percent through 2017 and beyond.

Char December 04, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Key phrase..employee cost to operate! Got to keep those pay raises, pensions and paid holidays. There is NO WAY it should have to go up this much all at once!
Teresa K. December 04, 2012 at 02:26 PM
"Council voted unanimously to approve the rate increases without comment Wednesday." Did no one ask if anything had changed and if the increases were still necessary? After all, a YEAR had passed. How much money does the city have saved up from the last water increase?
Kasha Legeza December 04, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Bummer.
Sarah Skibiski December 04, 2012 at 04:10 PM
My water bill is already through the roof and it's not like we can cut back on drinking, washing clothes, and staying clean.
Pat December 04, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Yes, it is time to punch the water savers out of our shower heads so we can have a decent shower and more pressure.( I have done so already) Water savers my foot. The city is just using our money for added revenue and not really saving it to replace anything. Our council memebers really don't care how much they charge us for water and sewage as they aren't on a limited income.
Confederate American December 04, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Thats awesome city council.....way to go and vote all for the hike! Really! This town is going way out of the way to tax, tax, tax. Time for some new city council then
Confederate American December 04, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Teresa, I think its all going towards privatized snow plowing........lol
KM December 04, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Keep giving the new businesses tax breaks and put it back on the community to make up for the slack! I have had to have my sewer drains cleared out twice a year at my own expense because of all the tree roots under the road, but it's not the city's problem, it's mine! Way to go council, who do you work for the people or the city?
Ted M December 05, 2012 at 12:19 AM
We couldn't even get 1to council member that is for the people? Sad
Confederate American December 05, 2012 at 03:29 AM
KM, they all voted for the City. They usually do. Look at their history in what they do....sad, sad and pitiful
Sarah Skibiski December 11, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I think you have a good point about them not understanding a truly limited income.

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