On February 28, 2023, the Independence city council approved the following rate adjustments, which are effective July 1, 2023:
- An increase of 3.5% in sewer rates each year for the next five years ($1.90/month for the first year).
- An increase of 7.07% in stormwater base fee (10 cents/month) and no increase in the ERU charge.
Why are my utility bills going up?
- In March 2022, the city completed a new wastewater master plan, including a 20-year sewer capital improvement plan, and in February 2023 the city completed a sewer rate study which recommended user charge updates to build the infrastructure rehabilitation and upgrade projects for existing users and anticipated population growth. The rate study identified sanitary sewer system costs, rate structure alternatives, debt, and equitable cost recovery methods for a five (5) year period. This rate adjustment reflects the actual cost to operate, maintain and improve the city’s sanitary system.
- The city has not updated its stormwater fee structure since April 2005 and has not consistently raised its fees based on the recommendation of that plan. The city is adjusting its base fee only this year at the rate of inflation based upon the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI West Region; Series ID CUURN400SA0, as published, revised, and amended by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Future years will include inflation adjustments for both the base fee and ERU charge until an update master plan and fee study can be completed. This rate adjustment allows the city to maintain the existing level of service in the public stormwater facilities.
To learn more about how this process was conducted, watch the city council meeting here: https://youtube.com/live/wtpjRepHpgk