On May 9, 2023, the City Council will consider Ordinance 2023-16, which proposes to raise the City’s Water and Sewer Utility rates to meet the current needs of the system. The rate increase recommendations were developed by city staff together with the consultant FCS Group and input from the city’s Utility Advisory Committee, the latter of which met 8 times in public meetings since last August to review and provide guidance on the recommendations.
Both water and sewer rates were raised by 10.1% earlier in 2023 to address inflation. Ordinance 2023-16 will propose to further raise water rates an additional 13.5% in 2023, with additional planned increases of 25% for both 2024 and 2025. Sewer rates will not increase further in 2023 and sewer increases in 2024 and beyond are planned to align with inflation. The primary drivers for water rate increases are a combination of historically low rates, and the need for replacement of the Winslow Water Tank, which is estimated to cost at least $21M. City staff have procured almost $21M in low-interest State loans to support the tank project, saving rate payers over $5M in interest over the lifetime of the loans.
More information and background on the rate increases can be found in the links to the Final Report and accompanying slide show.