Council sets higher sewer use fees

With an upgrade/replacement of the city’s wastewater treatment facility needed in the next few years, Albion’s City Council approved an increase in city sewer rates last Tuesday night, July 7.

Annual sewer rate increases were recommended in a rate study by the Nebraska Rural Water Association (NRWA). The recommended rate increases began in 2008, and NRWA recommended continuing annual increases through the next two years.

Effective Aug. 1, 2009, sewer use fees will increase to a $32 bi-monthly minimum (up from $26.80 bi-monthly minimum currently), and a usage charge of $8.70 per 1,000 cubic feet of water used bi-monthly, as billed in the winter months of December and January.

Although the sewer use fees will increase by about 19.4 percent, there will be no increase in water or garbage pickup rates this year, the council decided. City Administrator Andy Devine did not recommend an increase in water and garbage rates, because the change in consumer price index and other cost factors indicated no need for adjustment this year.

Albion’s average monthly sewer use charges continue to rank below the average of eight other Nebraska communities with comparable populations.

Higher rates will be needed to finance the debt for upgrade or replacement of the city’s current wastewater treatment facility.

Complete details in the Albion News Print Edition this week.