Spring Lake Park increases utility rates

With projected deficits in its utility fund, the Spring Lake Park City Council has voted to increase water and sewer rates.

The council Jan. 22 unanimously voted to increase the top three tiers for water use and all of the sewer rates.

There is a projected deficit of $63,799 in the utility fund, with approximately $8,101 attributable to the water utility and $55,698 to the sanitary sewer utility, said Assistant City Administrator Dan Buchholtz.

The sewer deficit is due to the rate increase to the city from Metro Waste Control, something the city does not control, he said.

The water deficit is a result of the increasing costs, including motor fuels, wages and purchasing meter reading equipment.

“The rates were structured to place the majority of the impact on the city’s heaviest water and sewer users,” he said.

For properties using between 27,001 to 36,000 gallons of water per quarter, the water rate will increase from $2.38 per 1,000 gallons per quarter to $2.50 per 1,000 gallons per quarter.

For properties in tier five using between 36,001 to 45,000 gallons per quarter, the water rate will increase to $2.77 per 1,000 per gallon per quarter, a 14 cents increase.

The sixth tier, using 45,001 gallons and more a quarter, the rate increases from $2.93 per 1,000 gallons per quarter to $3.08 per 1,000 gallons per quarter.

“The new water rates will generate approximately $7,584 in revenue this year,” Buchholtz said.

Sewer rates will be going up for everyone.

The required minimum charge will increase from $55.43 to $59.03 per quarter and the commercial rate for over 18,000 gallons will go from $2.85 per 1,000 gallons per quarter to $3.23 per 1,000 gallons per quarter.

The new sewer rates will raise approximately $41,813, Buchholtz said.

These new rates will “hold (seniors) harmless as they have already seen an increase,” Buchholtz said.

In October 2012, the council eliminated the senior discount.

The city had waived the base rate of $7.50 per quarter and waived up to 9,000 gallons per quarter, up to $15.12, for water, Buchholtz said.

The new rates, which are effective April 1, were determined by a April 2012 rate study done by Stantech Inc. and will bring Spring Lake Park to a median rate for the metropolitan area, he said.

Tammy Sakry is at tammy.sakry@ecm-inc.com

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