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City News

Posted on: June 1, 2018

Utility Rates Change; New Rates To Be Reflected on July Billing Statements

The City of Arden Hills recently hired Ehlers, the City’s municipal advisors, to conduct a utility rate study of the water, sewer, and stormwater funds. City policy is to pass on to rate payers—through utility fees—the City's actual operating costs and costs of infrastructure improvements for these utilities. The City annually reviews rates to ensure revenues are not overfunding or underfunding the utility budget. The goal is to break even.

 

Ehlers recommended minor changes to the utility fee structure for all three funds, including the following: combining the water stand-by charge with the meter charge; eliminating the first 15,000 gallons of usage from the base fee for sewer, so rate payers will only pay for what they actually use; and eliminating the fee for undeveloped property in the stormwater fund. The City Council approved the recommendations and adopted a new fee structure at its May 14 regular meeting. Residents and business owners will see new rates reflected on their July utility billing statements.

 

Residents deemed low users of water, those who use 8,000 gallons a quar?ter or less during winter months, can expect to see a decrease in the sewer portion of their quarterly billing state?ments. Residents deemed median users of water, those who use around 12,000 gallons per quarter, can expect an approximate $10 increase in their quarterly billing statements. The majority of Arden Hills’ residents are low or median us?ers of water. Those who use high amounts of water can expect to see higher increases.

 

It’s important to note that utility rates are uniquely structured across cities, and city policies regarding fee usage differ. Some cities use their utility fees to help with their city’s general fund balance, while others, like Arden Hills, use the collected fees to repair

aging sewer and water infrastructure.

 

Comparing rates across cities doesn’t tell the whole story. Changes in population, topog?raphy, age of existing infrastructure, source of water and water treatment processes, are variables that can impact utility billing rates.

 

If you have questions about your utility bill, please call City Hall during regular business hours at 651-792-7800.

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