No rate increase in St. Francis

The St. Francis City Council unanimously turned down city staff’s recommendation to raise the city’s water and sewer rates starting in March 2013.

The suggested fee increases, which would have generated an additional $42,275 in sewer revenue and $23,275 in water revenue, would have gone toward sewer fund debt service and helped fund increasing costs of water treatment.

Proposed increases were to the sewer base fee from $12.25 to $12.50, the sewer usage fee from $4.55 to $4.90, the water base fee from $11.75 to $12 and the water usage fee from $4.05 to $4.15.

When asked whether the council’s decision to not raise water and sewer rates at this time would pose a problem in the city’s ability to pay its water and sewer system debts, City Administrator Matt Hylen said he anticipates no short-term problems.

“Currently we have the cash balance to meet all debt payments,” he said. “Staff recommendation was to make small incremental increases to the water fees to prevent a future significant increase.”

The city’s last water and sewer rate increase was in February 2011.