The sewer rates in Clarkdale likely will increase May 15. The town council approved a motion Tuesday night to give Notice of Intent to Set Sewer Fee Rates.
The proposed rate would increase the current base rate from $20.47 to $28. That fee includes $2.50 for line replacement and $2.50 for sludge disposal.
Commercial accounts will pay the same base rate but also see the usage fee increase from the current $1.90 per 1,000 gallons to $2.25 per 1,000 gallons of water in excess of 5,000 gallons per month.
A staff report recommending the increase was presented to the council. The report states that the wastewater enterprise fund faces a projected shortfall for this fiscal year of $90,542. To meet that shortage, the town will take cost-cutting changes for fiscal year 2009/2010.
The combination of cost savings and the fee increase is projected to amount to $90,195. The report projects that the measures will allow the wastewater operating and maintenance fund to recover from the current-year deficit and break even by the end of fiscal year 2009-2010.
Utility Director Wayne Debrosky said the notice of intent would be made by March 25, and a public hearing would be held April 14. The new rates would start May 15 and would show on the June utility bill.
Councilman Jerry Wiley said he would like to adjust the wastewater rates annually so that customers aren't hit with large increases. Town Manager Gayle Mabery suggested the council could take a look at the rates every January when it begins the annual budget process.
Rates were raised in 2002 from $12 to $16.80; in 2004 to $19.80; and again in 2005 to $20.47.