Water/sewer rate hike on April bill

Williams residents, and business owners can expect to see a water and sewer rate increase when they open their April bill.

Williams City Council approvd a regressive rate structure to give an economic incentive to conserve water at Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting. Since the rate charged will go up 5 percent for each additional 5,000 gallons consumed, it will be the heavy users that bear the brunt of the increase.

Joe Duffy, city finance director/ assistant city manager, said residential users will face an 11 percent sewer/water increase. For example, those who now pay $38.19 for 7,750 gallons used can expect their bill to be $42.47.

Small commercial users will face a 13 percent increase — up from $42.98 per 7,750 gallons used to $48.63.

Large commercial users are in for an 18 percent increase — up from $258.17 per 50,000 gallons used to $290.81.

Water haulers who purchase at the rodeo grounds standpipes are facing a 13 percent increase.

Duffy said the rate increase will legally take effect 30 days after the new rate ordinance is approved by city council at its Jan. 24 meeting. But he said Williams residents and business owners won’t see an increase until their April bill.

For those who purchase water at the rodeo grounds standpipes, Duffy said the increase will go in effect Feb. 26.

Also at Thursday's meeting, council discussed an emergency rate that will be be built into the new rate increase ordinance.

Part of the ordinance will cover an emergency water rate should the city have to haul water from an outside source, Duffy said.

"We plan to structure that rate to cover only the direct costs less any subsidies," he said.

State emergency funds could kick in to fund a percentage of waterhauling costs should the need arise.

Duffy gauged 3 cents a gallon would cover costs of having water trucked in without any subsidies.

Council gave unanimous approval to the 3-cent per gallon emergency rate.

The last time the city raised water and sewer rates was in September 1993.

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