Pine City water, sewage rates going up in 2020

Water rates for Pine City homes and businesses are heading up again in 2020.

On Jan. 8, the city council voted to approve the 2020 fee schedule, which includes a hike in water and sewer rates

• The water rate for 0-5,000 gallons will be $0.0111/gallon, or $11.10 for 1,000 gallons. This is up roughly 2.7% from $0.0108/gallon or $10.80 for 1,000 gallons.

• The water rate for 5,001-10,000 gallons will be $0.0122/gallon, or $12.20 for 1,000 gallons. This is up roughly 3.4% from $0.0118/gallon or $11.80 for 1,000 gallons.

• The water rate for 10,001 gallons and over will be $0.0129/gallon, or $12.90 for 1,000 gallons. This is up roughly 3.1% from $0.0125/gallon or $12.50 for 1,000 gallons.

• Bulk water fees went from $22.72 to $23.40 for 1,000 gallons of water, up roughly 3%.

• The sewer rate went from $8.30 per 1,000 gallons to $8.50 per 1,000 gallons, up roughly 2.4%

• The monthly service charge for water meters went up by 50 cents.

• The monthly state water connection fee went from $0.53 cents to $0.81.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, each person, on average, uses between 80-100 gallons of water per day for indoor home uses.

In 2017, Pine City had analysis done of its water and sewer needs, which included an estimated $7.6 million in project expenses between 2017 and 2026 – street projects, rehab work on the waste water treatment plant pond, recondition the downtown water tank and more.

According to that study,  the city would not have enough operating revenue to pay for this work without rate increases, and the report recommended that the city make small annual rate increases to maintain fund levels, increasing both water and sewer rates by three percent each year from 2018 until 2026, except for a rate cut of four percent in 2022.

The study was carried out by Ehlers, Inc., a municipal advisory firm.

“The rate increases proposed and approved were in-line with the rate study conducted by Elhers back in 2016/2017,” explained Pine City Administrator Matthew Van Steenwyk. “These increases will provide the needed revenue stream for debt financing and future capital improvements needed on the system. “

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