Delaware City Council is considering increases to water and refuse rates for 2023 that would cost an average city residential customer an estimated additional $7 per monthly bill.

The rates represent an approximate $5 jump for water and $2 increase for refuse. City of Delaware customers receive one monthly bill for all utility charges: water, refuse (and recycling and yard waste), sewer and storm water. No changes are being proposed for sewer and storm water.

If approved, the water increase would be the first in six years. The refuse rate increase continues a 3-year phased plan approved by City Council a year ago. An average city household of four that uses around 700 cubic feet of water currently pays about $111 per month for water, refuse (and recycling and yard waste), sewer and storm water. That user is estimated to see the total bill increase $5.17 per month for water and $2 for refuse, for a new estimated monthly total of about $118.

Chemicals needed to treat drinking water have increased 54 percent in the past year and electric costs have increased 20.3 percent. Additionally, preventative maintenance projects at the water plant are being recommended now to avoid higher repair costs later.

The refuse fund was evaluated a year ago and it was projected that multi-year rate increases would be necessary to sustain operations. The recommendation is a $2 increase, for a total monthly charge of $25 per household. This would allow the City to operate refuse, recycling and yard waste pick up operations at their current service level and replace vehicles over the next few years. The cost of these specialized vehicles has risen almost 30 percent.

City of Delaware water and refuse services operate as enterprise funds. This means they are required to be self-sustaining, without taking money from the general budget.

A public hearing on the proposed rate hikes is scheduled for Dec. 5 in City Hall Council chambers. The meeting of City Council begins at 6:30 pm.

Read More About City of Delaware Utilities

Read the City Council Agenda

Source: City of Delaware

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