Water and sewer rates are going up in Dayton at the next billing cycle beginning on April 26.
Dayton City Council on Monday agreed to raise the combined residential service rates for water and sewer from $38.68 per month to $70 per month, an increase of roughly 83 percent. The rates (currently $19.34 each) are based on the first 2,000 gallons used by residential customers. Thereafter, the rates will be increased by $4.75 for every extra 1,000 gallons of use.
For commercial customers, the new rates will make the cost of water $42.50 for the first 2,000 gallons and $42.50 for the first 2,000 gallons of sewer service for a combined $85 per month. The increase thereafter is $5.25 per 1,000 gallons per service.
For institutions, such as the prisons, the rates are $325 for each service based on the first 2,000 gallons and another $5.75 per 1,000 gallons thereafter. For bulk water customers, the rate is $250 for each service based on the first 2,000 gallons and another $5.75 per 1,000 additional gallons per service.
“Obviously rate increases aren’t popular decisions. However, we are way behind on our rates versus the cost of providing water and sewer services,” City Manager Steve Floyd told the Council.
While the rate increases are a huge leap, Floyd said the rates are still below the state average of $71.09 for combined water and sewer services.
“It’s far below those of our neighbors in Harris County. This rate increase is part of a plan to get the City of Dayton back to a financially stable position,” Floyd said. “Staff recommends Council to approve the rate increase as well as the built-in rate increase of 8 percent per year, starting on Oct. 1, for the next eight years.”
The vote to raise the rates was unanimous with the exception of Councilman John Headrick who abstained.
City Manager Steve Floyd asked Headrick if he could explain his abstention.
“We looked at every possible option and reached out to you as council. If we are missing something, I wish you would let us know,” Floyd said.
Headrick responded by saying he believes the rates are too much of a hike at once.
“I wish I could have an answer to it. I just don’t know what to say. I think it’s quick and maybe worth more discussion in a workshop,” Headrick said.