Arlington Council could increase sewer rates

ARLINGTON — The City Council discussed raising sewer rates during its work session Monday, Feb. 8.

According to a proposed ordinance, the increase would offset debt the city has incurred constructing its new wastewater treatment facility.

The city of Arlington’s Public Works Department presented two sewer rate options — one based on conservative and another on probably new connection estimates — to the Council for discussion.

“The number of new annual connections is the driving factor that will affect the sewer rate increase,” said Jim Kelly, public works director, in a memo. “And in these economic trying times, the number of new connections has slowed significantly.”

If approved, residential customers would pay an additional $5 per month each year starting this year. According to the new rate, customers would pay $53.75 per month in 2010, $58.75 in 2011, $63.75 in 2012, $68.75 in 2013 and $68.75 in 2014.

The increases would affect residential and commercial rate payers, who currently pay $48.75 per month as a base rate.

Public works officials originally asked that sewer rates be increased by $7 in 2010, followed by $5 raises each consecutive year.

But Council members asked officials to rework those numbers during a December 2009 meeting.

City of Arlington spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said that the proposed changes will not affect water rates.

The City Council will be holding a public hearing on March 1 and 15 for city residents to voice their opinions.

The Council could take action on March 15, and rate increases could be effective by April 15.

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