City seeking citizen input on proposed sewer rates
Eudora city leaders agree any sewer rate changes should come with input from those whom changes would affect most. That's why Eudorans will have an opportunity to voice their opinion on rate increases before the next Eudora City Council meeting, when the Council will again consider a proposal to increase rates.
A public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at Eudora City Hall, 4 E. Seventh St.
Increased sewer rates are intended to help the city offset costs of sewer upgrades as well as help it meet the increased cost of providing service. City Administrator Mike Yanez said the city was looking at how to raise an additional $300,000 each year.
The current sewer rates were established in 1999. Under the proposed new rate structure, the household producing 4,000 gallons of sewage a month would see an $18 bill turn into an about $26 bill. The proposal calls for $17.18 for the first 1,000 gallons and $2.86 per each additional thousand. Currently, Eudorans pay $12 for the first 1,000 gallons and $2 for each additional thousand.
"If we do this, we have to have public input, because they're the ones paying the bill," said Council member Tom Pyle, who pointed out sewer rates weren't the only increases with which Eudorans were faced.
Fellow Council member Rex Burkhardt said the city sought public input when it previously increased water rates."There were a lot of people upset, and it was a hard decision," Burkhardt said. "But you have to be open on issues like this."
Mayor Ron Conner raised the idea of having a lower base rate and increasing the additional charges. Council member Don Durkin discussed the idea of raising hook-up fees, because the need for sewer upgrades stemmed from new development.
Yanez said speed would be an important part of the process, as the award for the contract for the improvements was pending on application for a state revolving loan through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.