Water and sewer customers in Wright City will be noticing higher monthly bills beginning next month.
Aldermen last Thursday approved increasing the minimum monthly fee for both water and sewer by $1 and a 50-cent jump in the sewer rate for every 1,000 gallons used on top of the minimum charge.
The rate hike was passed by a 3-0 vote during a special meeting. Alderman Jim Toothman was absent.
The increase was needed, according to city officials, due to a budget shortfall. Karen Girondo, the city’s economic development director/treasurer, said there was a shortfall of $50,000 and $90,000 in the projected revenues for water and sewer, respectively.
Officials said they knew a rate increase would be needed when a deficit was included in the 2012 budget at the time it was adopted in December.
According to Girondo, the rate increase will generate an additional $42,432 in the water fund and $51,672 in the sewer fund over the next 12 months.
The city’s last increase was made in January 2009, officials said.
“We knew we had to look at this mid-year,” Girondo said. “This doesn’t catch us up, but it’s a start.”
The fee for city water customers will increase from $7 to $8 and from $6 to $7 for seniors for the first 1,000 gallons used. For every 1,000 gallons thereafter, the rate will go up from $3.05 to $3.35.
Customers outside the city limits will see their water rates increase from $14 to $16 for the first 1,000 gallons and from $6.10 to $6.70 for every 1,000 gallons used thereafter.
For sewer customers inside the city limits, the minimum fee will jump from $7 to $8. For every 1,000 gallons used thereafter, the 50-cent increase will increase the fee from $3.05 to $3.55.
Rates for customers outside the city will go up from $14 to $16 for the first 1,000 gallons and from $6.10 to $7.10 for every 1,000 gallons used thereafter.
The rate increase will go in effect in September, city officials said.
In Other News
• Aldermen approved the hiring of James Holifield as a full-time police officer. He will initially be paid $15.50 an hour for the first three months, with his pay increasing to $16 following the probationary period.
Holifield is currently employed with the Warren County Sheriff’s Department. He previously worked part time for Wright City.
• The board voted to hire Scott Agency, Warrenton, to serve as the city’s insurance broker. The other firm officials considered was Tri-County Agency, Warrenton.
• Police Chief Doug Saulters received permission to attend the FBI National Academy retrainer course to be held at Lake of the Ozarks on Sept. 4-7. The cost is $465.