Pella Chronicle

Local News

December 11, 2012

Council approves sales of Healthcare Facilities Revenue Bonds

(Continued)

Pella — In other action

-Council approved the third reading of and adopted an ordinance regarding wastewater rate increases.

At the Policy and Planning meeting on October 16, 2012, the City Council directed staff to proceed with a proposed wastewater rate increase, which is necessary to fund the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) mandate.

In 2009 the City of Pella received a mandate from the IDNR to eliminate all known bypasses in our sanitary sewer collection system by October 2013. As a result of this mandate, the City of Pella is facing an estimated $3.5 million in expenses for sanitary sewer upgrades with a relatively short time period to complete these improvements.

On January 19, 2010, the City of Pella approved an increase in wastewater rates effective March 1, 2010 which was the first step of rate increases necessary to fund the IDNR mandate. The overall increase at that time was 25 percent. In order to fully fund this mandate, the City will need to increase rates by another 13 percent.

This ordinance amends the wastewater rates of the City of Pella and is the second step of rate increases necessary to fund the IDNR mandate.

Proposed Wastewater Rates

The rate increase proposed in this ordinance would be phased in, beginning with the February 2013 utility billing due March 20. At that time, the base fee for the wastewater rate will be increased from $ 15 per month to $16 per month. The usage charge per 1,000 gallons of water used will increase from $3.75 to $4.

The next phase of the rate increase is effective with the July 2013 utility billing due August 20. At that time, the base fee for the wastewater rate will be increased from $16.00 per month to $17.00. The usage charge per 1,000 gallons of water used will increase from $4.00 to $4.25. It is important to note, the base fee is intended to help stabilize the City's annual revenue stream, which will help in covering the fixed cost of the system and new debt issues to finance the IDNR mandates.

An increase in the rates is necessary to help fund the IDNR mandates put into effect for the City's wastewater system. If Council approves the ordinance, the proposed rates would be increased in two phases, the first effective with the February 2013 utility billing and the second effective with the July 2013 utility billing.

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