By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
CARL JUNCTION, Mo. —
The Carl Junction City Council on Tuesday night approved a rate increases for water and sewer usage.
The increase in water rates was necessary to move water revenues in line with operating costs, according to Dean Willis of Allgeier, Martin & Associates Inc., while the sewer rate increase was necessary to help fund a future expansion.
The average residential water usage in the town is 5,000 gallons per month, according to City Administrator Steve Lawver. The rate hike, set to go into effect June 15, will increase the bill for that usage from $17.78 to $18.84 per month, or by about 6 percent.
The sewer service hike, based on the same usage of 5,000 gallons per month, will increase a resident’s bill from $19.80 to $22.30 per month, or by 12.6 percent.
“Ten percent of that increase is strictly attributable to the expansion we’re going to be going through,” Lawver said. “It goes into the capital improvements fund to pay for that expansion, along with the bond issue voters passed in April.”
That 10 percent increase, in combination with what will be 10 percent increases for the next two years, will reduce the amount the city must borrow to fund the eventual expansion.
Both rate hikes passed unanimously Tuesday night, but not without concerns being expressed by council members.
Councilman Mark Powers said this most recent hike, combined with a 10 percent increase in sewer rates last fall, means a 22 percent increase in nine months.
Willis and Lawver said that as long as the town grows, there will be a need for investments in the water and wastewater treatment systems.
THE WATER RATE will decrease by 19 cents per month in June 2016, when the city’s fluoridation bond issue is paid off.