Council increases city utility rates

Staff reporter

It wasn't a pleasant decision but it had to be done Thursday when Hillsboro City Council approved four ordinances that will adjust, and in most cases increase, utility rates.

One of the first items on newly-hired city administrator Larry Paine's list was to adjust the city's utility rates to support the city's budget.

Numerous work sessions were held by the council to discuss options and determine rate adjustments.

"We looked at costs and determined these rates were needed to make the budget work," Paine said.

Additional costs associated with a new water treatment plan and planned improvements to the city's sewer system made it even more apparent.

The new rates will become effective after the ordinances are published in this edition of the Hillsboro Star-Journal, which will be reflected in the April billing.

The council also established a power cost adjustment rider for electricity which will require the council to review the cost of electricity, giving the governing body options in changing the rates.

Paine also will review the PCA calculation on a monthly basis with actual data and calculate PCA projections. After reviewing the information, Paine then could direct the council to apply the PCA as deemed necessary for the city to recover power supply related costs.

"The city cannot control the cost of power," Paine said, but with this adjustment tool, it can offset city costs.

Water rates

Residential water customers will see an increase of $7.06 per month for the first 1,000 gallons of usage and a slight increase of $1.54 per 1,000 gallons of water per month thereafter.

Commercial and multiple dwelling residents will see the same increase from $20 per month for the first 1,000 gallons to $27.06, and from $3.28 per 1,000 gallons thereafter to $4.82.

Electric rates

Residential and commercial customers will pay $.09996 per kilowatt hour, a $.00846 increase from $.0915.

Residential customers outside of the city limits will pay $.1054 per kWh for the first 4,000 kWh and $.09996 per kWh for all other usage.

Sewer rates

Minimum sewer charges are $16.75 per month. Variable rates will be implemented, based on use.

Low users are those who use 0 to 19,999 gallons of water per month. That rate went from 80 cents per 1,000 gallons to $2.68.

Mid-users are those who use 20,000 to 99,999 gallons of water per month. That rate increased from 76 cents per 1,000 gallons to $2.55 per 1,000 gallons.

High users are those who use 100,000 gallons of water or more per month. That rate increased from 74 cents per 1,000 gallons per month to $2.48.

Trash rates

Some refuse rates actually decreased. Paine and the city council determined that it costs the city $1.95 per cubic yard per collection to pick up and dispose of trash.

However, the minimum monthly service charge per residential user increased from $4.15 to $7.84 per month which includes the disposal of one cubic yard of material per pick up.

Commercial rates fluctuated with some customers seeing a slight increase and other seeing a slight decrease.