Hearing to discuss water rate increase

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Concordia residents, as well as those who live in areas where water is purchased from Concordia, could see higher rates in near future.

City Administrator Dale Klussman has completed an analysis of the city's water rate structure and determined that a 5 percent increase is needed to cover the water department's operational costs and debt retirement.

Based on his projections, Klussman believes the increase will generate $796,000 in new revenue. This just exceeds the $792,000 he says the department needs to meet its expenses.

Although described as an across-the-board increase, not everyone would see the increase due to contractual obligations. The city's contract with Emma prohibits a rate increase until 2012. Similarly, the contract with Public Water Supply District No. 2 limits the increase to 1 percent.

Klussman said under the proposed increase, the customer facing the biggest impact will be Continental Deli, the city's largest consumer of water. If the change goes into effect, the company would see a monthly fee increase of about $680.

In discussing the impact on the business, Klussman said it was important to remember when the city restructured its water and sewer rates last year, Continental Deli actually saw its monthly bill decrease.

In comparison to other cities in the area, including Higginsville, Lexington, Odessa and Sweet Springs, Concordia's water rates would be about in the middle. However, because Concordia has the lowest sewer rates, its combined average monthly bill would still be the lowest of the five cities.

Residents will have a chance to discuss the matter at a public hearing scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 15.

Copyright 2010 The Concordian. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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