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City approves small water rate increase

The city of Wadena held its Enterprise Funds Budget review on Tuesday, Dec. 6. The council approved a proposal for a small water rate increase.

Meters would be charged a service fee based on size. The vast majority of meters, the smallest size, would go from $6 to $6.25.

Water and Light supervisor Dave Evans said part of the rate increase is a conservation rate mandated for the end of 2012.

The rate would go from $1.60 to $1.70 below the conservation rate threshold, and $1.85 for above the conservation rate threshold.

The conservation rate varies based on meter size, and for the vast majority of customers, the cutoff would be 750 cubic feet.

Evans said that the average residential household consumes 500 cubic feet, well below the threshold.

Evans said that per year, the average residential customer would pay $6.72 more, and the average commercial customer would pay $26.68 more.

There would also be a $5 monthly fee rather than an annual fee for sprinkler connections.

In the wastewater treatment and sewer fund report, public works director Ron Bucholz said that when they televised the sewers, a few were in dire straits.

Council member Kay Browne asked where they were.

Dan Kovar responded that there were bad lines near 3rd Street north of Irving, 7th Street in front of the pool and 2nd Street Southwest south of Jackson.

For the electric department, Evans said that budgeting for overhead lines would decrease and budgeting for underground lines would increase as they make the switch from one to the other.

He said the department would like to get a summer employee for 40 hours per week for three months for lawn mowing and miscellaneous projects.

Tim Booth, manager at the Wadena liquor store, said sales were up this year.

The golf course report by manager Kevin Ross said they were facing declining membership because of demographics but have some improvements, including a new interactive website and a new security system.

City of Wadena proposed water rate changes

Meter Service Conservation rate

Size charge cutoff

.75 inch to 1 inch $6.25 750 cubic feet

1.25 inches to 1.5 inches $9.50 7,500 cubic feet

2 inches $12.75 15,000 cubic feet

3 inches $16.00 20,000 cubic feet

4 inches $19.25 30,000 cubic feet

New regular rate: $1.70

New conservation rate: $1.85

Old rate: $1.60

Average annual cost increase to residential: $6.72

Average annual cost increase to commercial: $26.68

The city of Wadena approved a proposal of water rate changes which would cause a slight increase in annual costs for residential and commercial water customers. The vast majority of meters are the smallest size. Water and electric supervisor Dave Evans said that the average residential customer uses about 500 cubic feet of water, well below the conservation rate increase starting at over 750 cubic feet.