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Council expected to hike water/sewer rates

Workers from Sande Construction in Humboldt use a backhoe and a skid loader to collect dirt and debris from a rectangular area on the west side of the Humboldt Municipal Water Plant grounds. Exterior work, including a new plate press building and chlorine contact tank have been constructed with more interior work beginning on the upgrade of the 80-year-old plant. Humboldt Independent photo.

Humboldt city residents are likely to see an increase in their city water and sewer rates after July 1, 2013, to reflect the cost of living.
During Monday night’s Humboldt City Council meeting, Humboldt City Administrator Aaron Burnett proposed and the Humboldt City Council agreed to a bump set at the Consumer Price Index (CPI) level for 2012.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics that figure for the past 12 months is 2.2 percent.
“When we did the last rate increase for sewer and water the idea was to tie it to the Consumer Price Index to ensure that every year we have a smooth trend to match inflation.
“We haven’t put it in place because when we passed the last rate change we didn’t know the cost of the water plant improvements and new operational costs. We now have a better idea and where we are at right now is where we need to stay in terms of costs,” Burnett said.
The city administrator said it makes more sense to budget for inflation on a yearly basis, rather than falling behind and hit people with a large increase five or six years down the road.
“A lot of residents on fixed incomes and industries and businesses budget for their utilities. We will know this number when the council begins budget discussions next month and people can just plan for the slight increase in their bills after July 1, 2013,” Burnett reported.
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