As the city moves forward with plans to raise water rates, one business owner said the increase would be devastating to his business.

Bill Hoaglin, who owns and operates Beacon Car Wash on East Osage, said he was alarmed when he read in the newspaper that the planned water rate increase could send his water and sewer bill up by 45 percent.

“We use a lot of water that does not go into the sewer district,” Hoaglin said. “A 45 percent increase is a pretty high increase.”

Speaking at the July 2 board of aldermen meeting, Hoaglin said the proposed raise, if it is 45 percent, would impact businesses that rely on water for its service.

“We cannot go from a $10 car wash to a $14.50 car wash,” Hoaglin said.

The public will be invited to comment on the proposed city water rate increase at the July 16 board of aldermen meeting.

At that meeting, aldermen will consider an ordinance that sets new water rates.

If approved, the proposed ordinance would increase the existing minimum charge for users inside the city limits from $6.57 per month to $7.50 per month, and would set a flat volume charge of $2.92 per thousand gallons, or fraction thereof, for all volumes uses.

The current volume charge is $2.87 per thousand gallons from 2,000 to 5,000 gallons; $2.60 per thousand from 5,000 to 10,000; and $2.33 per thousand for all volumes over 10,000.

The proposed rate increase would apply to all water users in the city with no provisions for high volume users.

If the new rates are approved, a household using 5,000 gallons a month will see their water bill go up from the current $15.18 to $22.10 a month — an increase of 45 percent.