City looking at possible 1-year rise in sewer fees

A proposed increase in city sewer fees is more than halfway toward becoming a reality.

As expected, the Board of Aldermen’s infrastructure committee voted to recommend the 15 percent increase to the full board. The increase for fiscal 2010 had already cleared the Board of Public Works.

The 15 percent increase would mean that homeowners would see their sewer bills increase by an average of $36 a year, or $9 a quarter.

The proposed rate increase was included in a sewer rate study report that the city’s chief financial officer, Michael Gilbar, first presented to the Board of Public Works in February.

Under the proposal, sewer rates would increase by 15 percent in fiscal 2010, which begins July 1, again by 15 percent in 2012 and by 10 percent in 2014.

If approved, these would create a cumulative increase of more than 45 percent over current rates.

But the public works board opted to approve only the first year.

Commissioners agreed to look again at the numbers next year before deciding on a future increase.