Albion residents to pay higher water, sewer rates

Albion residents will be paying higher water and sewer rates beginning Aug. 1.

A water rate increase of 4.2 percent and a sewer rate increase of about 20 percent were adopted by the City Council during their annual review of utility rates last Tuesday night, July 8.

The likely need for a new sewage treatment plant in the near future was a big part of the consideration of new sewer rates. City Administrator Andy Devine noted that the proposed water rate increase follows the increase in the consumer price index as of July 1, 2008.

The proposed sewer rates were adjusted according to recommendations from the Nebraska Rural Water Association’s rate comparison, which were reviewed at a previous meeting.

“We need a significant increase in sewer rates in looking to our future needs,” Devine said. He pointed out that the city will need to be in position to service the debt on a new wastewater treatment facility from its sewer use fees.

Several council members said they had hoped to see a more gradual increase.

New Sewer Rates

The new sewer fees for service inside the city limits will be a flat fee of $26.80 for each two-month period, plus $6.95 per 1,000 cubic feet of water usage in the two-month period of winter months (December and January).

The previous sewer fees included a flat fee of $22.50 per two-month period, plus $5.75 per 1,000 cubic feet of two-month winter water usage.

Sewer use fees for residents outside the city limits were increased by a similar percentage. The flat fee is $53.60, plus $13.90 per 1,000 gallons of water usage in the winter months.

New Water Rates

Following are the new city water rates:

  • Inside City Limits: Flat fee of $19.79 (two-month period) plus $7.15 per 1,000 cubic feet of usage.
  • Outside City Limits: Flat fee of $39.58 (two-month period) plus $14.30 per 1,000 cubic feet of usage.
  • Bulk Water Sales: $10.67 per 1,000 gallons; minimum charge of $5.34 for 999 gallons or less.
  • The water testing and improvements surcharge of $2.10 per bi-monthly billing remains unchanged.

No change was made in garbage removal fees during the annual review, because no rate increase had been requested from the contractor, Bud’s Sanitary Service.