City will hike sewer rates by about $1 per monthMost Mitchell residents will see a $1 increase in their monthly sewer bill by the end of the year.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Most Mitchell residents will see a $1 increase in their monthly sewer bill by the end of the year.
The Mitchell City Council approved a 15-cent-per-unit hike in the sewer rate Tuesday night.
Currently, most people pay $5 per month for sewer service and $1.55 per unit, which will increase to $1.70 around Nov. 1, according to Public Works Department Director Tim McGannon.
“It’s about an extra dollar a month,” McGannon said. “We look at our revenue and expense to cover the maintenance of the system.”
A unit is 748 gallons or 100 cubic feet of water, he said. The last rate increase was two years ago, according to McGannon.
The city sells about 550,000 units a year, he said, and this rate hike will raise approximately $82,500 annually.
Customers who use 5,000 gallons per month will also see their rate increase a $1, from $15.36 a month to $16.36.
Mitchell keeps its utility rates low, McGannon said. He provided charts to the council displaying the rates compared with cities in the state and region.
“If none of the other towns raise their rates, we will still be the second-lowest combined water and sewer rate of those South Dakota towns answering the survey,” he said.
Council President Jeff Smith said the city needs to consider making regular, small increases in utility rates rather than large, dramatic rate hikes after several years.
It’s easier for people to adjust to smaller increases, Smith said.