The Water and Light Commission approved a 26% decrease in usage rates for water. The new usage rate is $5.70/1,000 gallons, down from $7.70/1,000 gallons. This reduction is possible due to increased efficiencies and reductions in operating costs achieved by transferring operational management to the city and due to increased users on the system.

The financial analysis conducted by the commission revealed that this reduction is sustainable and will not impair the utility’s ability to undertake day to day operations and planned system upgrades. A household that uses on average 5,000 gallons of water per month will see an annual savings of $120.

In addition, the City Council approved a 10% decrease in usage rates for sewer. The new usage rate is $8.80/1,000 gallons, down from $9.80/1,000 gallons. This reduction is possible due to increased users on the system. The financial analysis conducted by the council revealed that this reduction is sustainable and will not impair the city’s ability to undertake day to day operations and planned system upgrades. A household that uses on average 5,000 gallons of water per month will see an annual savings of $60.

You will see both of these new rates on your January 2022 bill, which includes usage from Dec. 20, 2021 to Jan. 20, 2022. Your Water & Light Commission continues to look for other efficiencies and cost savings and will pass those on to you when possible.

In other news...

• The office staff have officially moved to North Branch City Hall and a new drop box will be installed at city hall for after hours payments in early January. You can continue to use the drop box at the former utility office until further notice.

• The west water tower rehab is complete – check out the new city logo on the tower.

• In addition, the 1.0 mil gallon storage tank was completely cleaned and back on line.

• Non-functioning water meters continue to be replaced and meter readings are being monitored more closely in the hope of identifying leaks or other factors that may result in higher than necessary usage rates.

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