Average utility bill to rise $10.87

By Matt Ward

With deficits looming in three major utility departments, the Fredericksburg City Council is expected to raise utility rates on all customers next month.

During a presentation Monday evening at a special council meeting, city staff made formal recommendations of fee increases for city water, sewer and electric customers.

No final decisions have been made on any increases, but will be voted on at the council’s Sept. 16 meeting in order to be in place by Oct. 1 when the city’s 2013-2014 budget will go into effect.

The proposed increases include 11 percent to water rates, 15.4 percent to waste water rates and four percent to electric rates.

For residential customers, a higher second price tier will go into effect earlier with the intent of promoting water conservation.

Currently, customers pay $1.75 per 1,000 gallons up to 10,000 gallons with the second price tier at $3 for usage between 10,000 and 20,000 gallons. Under the proposed plan, customers would pay $1.94 per 1,000 gallons up to 6,000 gallons with the second price tier at $3.11 for usage between 6,000 and 12,000 gallons.

The city is also considering phasing out inclusion of the first 3,000 gallons of sewer usage per month over a three-year period.

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