Archive for Sunday, August 6, 2006

City considers increasing water rates

August 6, 2006


Lawrence residents may face an increase in water and sewer service rates, starting in 2007.

Under a proposal before city commissioners, residential water rates would increase between 8 and 10 cents per 1,000 gallons.

The fee within city limits would go up from $2.78 per 1,000 gallons in 2006 to $2.88 per 1,000 gallons next year. Outside the city, residential rates would increase from $3.46 per 1,000 gallons to $3.54 per 1,000 gallons.

Commissioners may also raise sewer service rates 39 to 41 cents per thousand gallons. Inside the city, rates would increase from $4.25 per 1,000 gallons to $4.64 per 1,000 gallons. The proposed increase for outside the city is from $4.66 per 1,000 gallons to $5.07 per 1,000 gallons.

According to a staff memo, "a household using 6,000 gallons of water a month in 2006 would pay an $18.63 water bill and $33.30 sewer bill; in 2007 that would change to $19.38 and $36.34, respectively."

City staff said the rate increase is necessary because the costs to provide water and sewer service change from year to year.

"We need to be able to run the pumps and buy the chemicals, and those costs are not static. They fluctuate some," said Assistant City Manager Debbie Van Saun.

Commissioners typically increase water and sewer service fees incrementally each year as part of a five-year plan to address those operating costs as well as plans for maintenance and new facilities.

"This next incremental rate increase will allow for operational expenses to be taken care of as well as the capitol improvements," Van Saun said.

Lawrence city commissioners will consider these increases as part of the 2007 budget during their regular meeting at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.


justthefacts 11 years, 8 months ago

Yep - The voters "raised cane" about the proposed hike in property and sales tax rates, so now the city council is considering raising fees outright. At least the increase in money coming out of pockets would more clearly be earmarked for a specificly provided government service. Wonder how long it will be before we pay more for everything else the government provides (police protection and fire service comes to mind, not to mention creation of special benefit districts to pay for road maintenance).

But we'd still be paying for things like those ugly ass sculptures, the $70,000 saolary for a new "economic developer" (and more legal staff) and round-abouts that no one wanted (except the people making money off providing them).

Earth to city council: STOP TRYING TO FIND NEW INCOME AND CUT THE FAT!! Why can't you budget for expenses with the money you already make - the rest of us have to do it in our personal lives!!!

The city council must all make more money then I do. There is NO MORE ROOM in my budget for ONE MORE THING.

This may be their way of preventing growth; if you make it more expensive, no one will move here (and the working poor will move away)!!

lunacydetector 11 years, 8 months ago

just another expense due to the failed smart growth policies.

usaschools 11 years, 8 months ago

Enough already! Between the already too high property taxes, the increases we will see there, the sales tax increase the city wants, this is too much. Draw the line!

justthefacts 11 years, 8 months ago

Amen! Anyone who runs for city council and promises to cut the budget to the bone before raising any kind of fee or tax (or better yet can make a promise that there will be NO MORE INCREASE in fees and taxes) will get my vote.

Remember the movie "Dave" - the scene where the fake President got his accountant buddy in and they worked over the country's budget so it had less fat in it? That's what we need now. Someone who knows how to live within their means!

There are WAY too many people and projects who really are "dead weight" or habit. Just because we've been able to afford prime rib in the past does not mean we should not revert to cheaper hamburger in times of financial stress. Time to learn to live without some of the "extras". They may be nice, to SOME people, but if we cut them out (think sculptures downtown) the only people who would REALLY care let alone notice are the ones making money off the deal!!

Steve Mechels 11 years, 8 months ago

Here is an idea; how about going to a rate plan that charges people for the actual amount of water that they use?

Flat rates don't provide any incentive for people to conserve and do not provide the necessary funding to support the infrastructure. Water usage is historically, heavily subsidized (across the U.S.) which perpetuates the problem.

Kontum1972 11 years, 8 months ago

and i suppose this will affect the water rate usage @ eagle bend golf farce too...?

i really love seeing those underground sprinkle systems running when it is at all the banks, grocery stores, peoples homes...turn off the system when it is projected rain....DmbA**'s

its ecomonic terrorism...i have just 3 more years here then i am selling my home and getting out of here, this place is a joke now....i moved here in 92....and it was good to live it sucks...and blows

this place is broken and no one on the CC knows how to fix it....economically, except to pass it on the us..the real working stiffs...they are all pompous clowns...BLEEDING KANSAS....try BLEEDING LAWRENCE...aka city comm

LongGoneFromLarryville 11 years, 8 months ago

As the J-W explicitly reports, Ms. Van Saun says that you'll be paying for "Capitol improvements", so it seems your beef is with the fine citizens of Topeka who should be bearing the brunt of these costs?

Or with the weekend copy editor, an intern from the Lawrence High Budget, who hasn't yet mastered the finer points of the language?

idontknow 11 years, 8 months ago

This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. I agree with most all of you. It seems Lawrence is on a mission to raise everything. The problem is no one is increasing the pay us hard working people in Lawrence is making. Some just can't afford all of these increases. I already think my water bill is too high. I am very conservative with my water, I live in newer duplex (small), I live alone and my water bill has never been under $45/month. Sewer is the biggest part of the bill already and to increase that is something I sure don't agree with. Lawrence is making it where instead of people wanting to live here, people are wanting to move away. Cra-Z-ness.

cowboy 11 years, 8 months ago

the city seems like a kid with a credit card , run it up to the hilt and then try to figure out how to pay it and they don't know why they have a problem.

Kathleen Christian 11 years, 8 months ago

How about raising the state min wages from $2.65 to $5.15 like other states? At least raise wages here in Lawrence so people are able to pay for those hikes in utilities. How do you expect people to afford it? This just puts a further burden on SRS, Leap and other subsidizing. There will be more people in need of these programs.

bigun539 11 years, 8 months ago

I would bet that the Eagle Bend golf course uses well water for their pretty green grass. It would be a damn shame to use potable water to keep a golf course green.

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