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MMU approves water rate adjustment

October 25, 2012
By Deb Gau , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - Water bills will be going up in Marshall in 2013, after the Marshall Municipal Utilities Commission passed a resolution for a 2 percent rate adjustment.

MMU commissioners had a public hearing on a proposed rate adjustment during its regular meeting Wednesday evening. No members of the public attended the hearing, and MMU General Manager Brad Roos said the utilities commission had not received any written comments on the proposal.

In the past, MMU has made utility rate adjustments once every three years, Roos said. However, when a water rate increase of close to 11 percent was passed for 2012, MMU received public feedback asking if smaller, more frequent adjustments could be made instead. Members of the public thought the smaller adjustments would be easier to handle, and Roos said MMU has tried to take that into account.

Roos said MMU customers' total water bills include two different charges, and only one would be affected by the rate adjustment. One is a monthly base charge, and the other is a commodity charge that depends on the amount of water a customer uses in a month. Roos said under the proposal, commodity charges would be increased 2 percent starting Jan. 1, 2013, while base charges would stay the same. Taking the base charge into account, Roos said, the total effect on water bills would be closer to an average increase of 1.33 percent.

The effect of the rate adjustment on a customer's monthly bill would be small, depending on water usage, commissioners said. Residential customers using less than 800 cubic feet of water a month would be charged at a rate of $2.28 per 100 cubic feet, instead of the current rate of $2.24 per 100 cubic feet. From July through October, residential commodity charge rates also increase with higher water usage.

Commercial and industrial customers would be charged $2.28 per 100 cubic feet of water used.

Roos said 100 cubic feet of water is equal to about 750 gallons.

MMU commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of passing the water rate adjustment. Commissioner Don Edblom cast the vote against the increase.



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