Rates will have to be adjusted March 1st for water use due April 1st, 2019; we’ll be sending out a sticky label that one can put in the booklet with the new fees.
These rates won’t be popular, but it is an economic decision that reflects fees that are being passed on to the project from the City of Fairbury. These new rates from the Project only reflect the current agreed to limit with the City, 200 gpm as an instant demand. If in the future the contract is re-negotiated with increased use, the rates could go up again.
There is a discussion concerning the installation of our own municipal wells; and yes, the increased rates from Fairbury could be used to pay debt towards that. However, the reality is installing our own wellfield would force an increase in prices similar to what these are. Moreover, there are issues with owning our wells; water quality, cost to install, cost to operate. The most significant risk is that nitrate values in public water supply are mandated federally, and there aren’t many cities/villages that aren’t looking at treatment to remove that risk. Also, since our project is already built, tying wells into our existing system limits well locations. However; the project is applying for a grant from state funds, the purpose to install sample wells exploring quantity and quality.
Also, the rates will change from providing a discount for more water being used. As we’ve noted in the past, the project has had to adopt an emergency plan to hold down on water use during peak demands. We have utilized the emergency plan for two reasons; because the pumps in the west pumphouse were running 24/7 at peak capacity and we approached or exceeded the agreed to amount in the contract with the City. Charging more, for more water used, is another option we hope will keep us below those limits.
Seventy-four percent of the domestic connections use 10,000 gallons per month or less. The new rate schedule is geared to keep our monthly base fee affordable and cover fixed costs while accepting that larger users will need to pay the variable cost of water or reduce use. The new rates are listed below.
|Per 1,000 for the Next 10,000 Gallons||$4.00||$5.00||$8.25||$7.25|
|Per 1,000 Over 10,000 Gallons||$4.50||$5.50||$5.00||$6.75|
We know the reaction to this type of rate increase will be shock, and there has been much discussion with the City concerning their new rate schedule. It has been suggested that for never missing payments, service through only 2 meters, and minimal maintenance to main lines that provide water to us; we should still be considered a bulk user as in the past rather than a general service customer. However, those discussions have come and passed; now it appears the project needs to pay the bill.
Please look for the updated schedule to put in your coupon booklet sometime after March 1st.