By STU MERRY
A plan to increase what Garrison residents pay for their municipal utilities is moving forward.
Scheduled to see a bump is the sewer rate, water overage use, bulk rate and street fund. The recommendation to increase the rates is by the council’s Utilities and Personnel Committee.
Council members think it’s better to increase user fees than to place specials on homes. The increase will be about $6 per month per customer.
Laying out what is proposed, city officials said the minimum, or base rate, will remain unchanged at $32.25 per month, which includes the first 1,000 gallons of water.
Each additional 1,000 gallons will be $4.50 – up 30 percent from $3.50. For bulk users, those who draw water from city hydrants or the city’s water salesman, the rate will increase 20 percent, going from $10 to $12 per 1,000 gallons.
Currently, the city collects $5 per month per meter for the street repair fund. That fee will increase by $3 to $8 per month per customer. City officials said the reason for raising the fee is primarily due to the pending street repairs in the community.
Garrison receives highway tax distribution funds from the state. The city also generates an additional $40,000 per year through the existing $5 charge. The council said that at year’s end, there is little to no balance remaining in the street fund. The increase to $8 will generate an additional $23,000 per year. That amount will be applied to the backlog of street repairs and improvements facing the city.