The 2020 Utility rates were set at the December 9th, 2019 meeting of the City Council, which was before Covid19. The rates are set to insure the long term stability of the funds. In setting the rates the following factors were considered:
- Working Capital – Operating Reserves
- Infrastructure needs – Capital Reserves; these are identified in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan
- Inflation – Both CPI projections and union Wage/Benefits increases
- The creation of a stable long-term
- Implementation of 25% Operating Reserve – This is an identified best practice for financial stability.
- Implementation of a 25% Capital Reserve – This is an identified best practice to maintain infrastructure.
- Council’s goal to avoid large special assessments and/or tax increases
- Council’s goal to avoid issuing debt and incurring interest expenses
- To provide long-term stability to the rate structure (a larger increase now will result in lower rates in five years than a series of smaller increases over the same time period)
- All items listed under General apply to water.
- Historically, this fund has operated at a loss.
- Rate increase is needed for both current operating costs and the long term stability of the fund.
- All items under General apply to sewer
- Wastewater charges from Met Council have increased 57% ($224,865) over the past four years. This equals approximately $100 per connection.
- The 2020 Met Council rate increase $64,000 over the 2019 rate, this is an 11.5% increase.
- The rate increase is needed for the long-term stability of the fund.
- All the items under General apply to Storm Water.
- Projects to maintain/rehabilitate the City’s aging road infrastructure have increased capital spending in the fund.
- The Large increase in 2020 brings the fund into a long-term stable rate structure with minimal rate increases in the future.
- The charges that the City pays for recycling services have increased 62%. The rate hike passes on the increase. The alternative would be to use tax dollars for this service.