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Commissioners to discuss water rate increases

By Corene Brisendine

City commissioners plan to consider a proposed water and waste water rate increases for 2013 during their Tuesday night meeting.

The rate increases are part of a five-year plan to flatten rates of various water users within the city and increase rates to match the cost of operations, expansions and maintenance of water and waste water facilities. This will be the third year of the five year plan.

A study performed in 2009 concluded that residential rates were covering the cost of operations, but the large-volume consumers — some businesses and Kansas State University — were not. As a result, it was recommended that the cost to large-volume consumers receive larger increases in rates over the following five years, while residential rates receive little to no increase.

This year’s proposed rate increases suggested a 4 percent increase on water rates be implemented for 2013 with the residential rates remaining unchanged. But higher revenues prompted by an increase in water consumption in 2012 — a result of the drought — permitted the proposal’s amendment so that large-volume users may only face a 3 percent increase. Waste water rate increases are suggested to increase by 3 percent across the board. A time period has been allotted to hear public comments prior to the reading of the proposed ordinance. If no changes are made, the new rates will go into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Mayor Loren Pepperd will also recognize the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1786, for the members’  efforts in raising funds with their annual Buddy Poppies sales. The sales are used to fund disabled veterans and families who have lost parents and spouses in foreign wars. Marvin Ketterer, commander of Post 1786, will receive the proclamation.

Pepperd will also recognize Nov. 1 through Dec. 22 as Fort Riley Operation Santa Claus Month. Operation Santa Clause is a fund raising effort to provide families on Fort Riley with toys and gifts for Christmas. Sgt. First Class Sesilio Astorga, the non-commissioned officer in charge of Operation Santa Clause, will be presented the proclamation during the meeting.

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