2020 rate increases lower than anticipated; city surplus to lower as a result Featured

2020 rate increases lower than anticipated; city surplus to lower as a result KVOE News file photo

Rate increases are coming for citizens in Emporia, however, those increases will be lower than originally anticipated.

Original estimates from earlier this year would have seen an eight percent increase to water, 10 percent for sewage and three percent for stormwater fees. The new proposal will see the sewage increase remain at 10 percent with water receiving a five percent increase and stormwater having no increase.

The total increase equivalates to six percent.

According to city treasurer Janet Harrouff, the new increases will provide a roughly $1 savings for average customers. However, during a recent city commission meeting, Harrouff called the increase a darned if you do darned if you don't situation due to the impact it will have on the city's surplus.

According to Harouff in order to accommodate the lower increase the city has dropped its surplus reserve level to 19 percent.


Harouff says the lower surplus means less cash on hand to address unexpected expenses such as water line breaks or damages to city infrastructure. She says if an emergency were to occur and there was not enough cash on hand to address it, a bond issue of some kind could be required in order to conduct necessary repairs or maintenance.

This is the second straight year for rate increases in the city of Emporia as last fall city commissioners approved an 8-percent increase to water rates, a 10-percent hike in wastewater rates and a 5-percent bump in solid waste fees. At the time, the city estimated residents would see a $2 monthly increase per category. Those fee increases helped to offset water line repair costs.

City Commissioners are expected to formally approve the new rates at a later meeting.

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Last modified on Thursday, 24 October 2019 15:20