Sewer rate increase plan approved

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

For the first time in more than a decade, the Concordia Board of Aldermen has given the green light to an increase in the city's sewer rates.

The board voted Monday to follow a recommendation made by City Administrator Dale Klussman to set the minimum use charge for sewer customers at $6.53 with a residential user charge of 80 cents per 1,000 gallons of water used. The existing rates were established in 1998 when the city undertook a sewer extension project.

Klussman noted that the city has no dedicated tax revenue for capital improvements and that user fees are the only funds used for the operation and improvement of the system. As a result of the fee change, nearly $24,000 in additional revenue will be generated this year.

That revenue will be put to immediate use to pay for the renovation of sewer lines in the area of South 12th and South 13th streets and South St. Louis and South Main streets, Klussman said.

The increase is expected to have a minimal impact on most residential customers and Concordia will continue to enjoy one of the lowest sewer usage fees in the area. In examples Klussman provided to the aldermen Monday, he noted that, based on 5,000 gallons of water usage, the proposed change will increase a customer's bill from about $41 to just under $44.

For the same amount of water usage, a Concordia resident's bill would still be lower than their counterparts in Higginsville, Lexington, Marshall, Odessa, Sweet Springs and Warrensburg, Klussman said.

With the board's consent approval Monday, Klussman is now working on an ordinance that will make the rate changes official. That bill will go before the board when it meets again later this month.

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