Platte City residents will see a hike on water and wastewater services this month after the board of aldermen approved a 5 percent increase in May.
The aldermen weighed five different options for the rate adjustment but approved an option that allocates 75 percent of revenue adjustments to monthly base rates and 25 percent to volume charges.
The changes will be reflected in the August utility billing cycle.
The cost increase was a chance reaction after a rate increase from Kansas City Water Services, which adjusted its rates in May. The wholesale water will increase five cents per 1,000 gallon rates.
The option chosen was No. 2, which adjusts rates with a 3.75 percent increase in base and 1.25 percent in consumption rates, which would bring in an estimated revenue increase of $106,013.
An estimated increased water cost for a minimum customer is $2.12 per month and to a 5,000 gallon per month customer by $2.77. Wastewater will increase for a minimum customer by $1.30 per month and for 5,000 gallons per month customers by $1.85.
The current monthly minimum charge for customers east of Interstate 29 is $9.23, a dollar more than those west of I-29. The proposed changes rise to $11.35 and $10.35, respectively.
The current 1,000 gallon water use rate is $7.42 for residents both east and west of I-29, but will raise to $8.55 (east) and $7.55 (west).
Wastewater charges for those east of 29 is $7.45, a dollar more than those west and those numbers will increase to $8.75 and $7.75, respectively.
The proposed 1,000 gallon use rate goes up 11 cents each, $7.34 (east) and $6.34 (west).
City Administrator DJ Gehrt noted in documents to the council is the city will in all likelihood need a full wastewater treatment plant renovation and expansions in 2023-24 and Platte River bank stabilization. The current rates are not sufficient to meet ongoing operating costs and capital maintenance. He added a note about ‘crippling’ short-term financial challenges to fund major known improvements coming between 2023-2025.
Persons living outside of the corporate boundaries of Platte City will be charged $13.17 for the first 1,000 gallons of water and $8.99 per 1,000 gallons after the first 1,000.
Bulk water, the rate is $13.45 per 1,000 gallons, while the bulk sewer charge is $3.62 per 1,000 gallons.
There will be a 5 percent increase in bulk wastewater rates for Tracy.
These rate changes for the sewer will be the first of many increases in the upcoming years according to Gehrt.
The city will need to rehab the wastewater plant by 2025, when it turns 25 years old, and the planning for that starts now.
Gehrt noted the raises would be four to six percent each year until 2025 instead of one big raise coming in 2025. The water rate increase will be lower, maybe one or two percent, but will be dictated by the cost from Kansas City.
“By 2025 we will have relined our entire system and we have a need coming out of the recent high waters at the Platte River,” Gehrt said. “We need bank stability there between (Highway) 92 and the treatment plant to protect one of our two main sewer interceptors. That will be 65 percent funded by the corp of engineers through a federal grant with a 35 percent local match. We won’t know actual cost until next fall, but it will be substantial. It could be $300,000 or it could be a $1 million. We don’t know what it will be, but it will cost something.”
While the water and sewer rates will go up, the board also passed three ordinances that deal with utility tax, disconnect fee and deposit amendments.
Changes include wastewater customers, whose drinking is billed by a third-party water provider, shall pay $90 before service will be established; utility service shall be subject to disconnection with any service and disconnection agreement that exists before the city and a third-party drinking water provider; disconnection fee for city utility customers that are billed for drinking water services by a third-party drinking water provider of the city shall be in agreement for a disconnection agreement or $100, whichever is greater and a business supplying drinking water is not subject to the retail sales tax.
STAYING AT THE CORNER
A lease extension was made with the Mary Ann Thalman Trust to continue using 355 Main Street as a temporary police station for a few more years. The lease is for two years at $1,550 per month with an option for an additional year in 2021-22 at $1,600 a month. The location has been the temporary home since April 2013 when the police department was forced out of the Civic Center due to structural issues. Voters passed a bond issue in April to help fund a new police station.