The Elgin City Council met in regular session Monday night and water was the main topic of conversation. In particular, how the City will pay for a new well and some necessary water mains in the next few years. Due to arsenic levels in the water wells exceeding allowable levels, the mayor and council learned last month the hard truth — a new well will have to be developed in the next few years. At that meeting, few options were presented to pay for the costs, the primary one being to raise water fees.
Currently, Elgin has some of the lowest monthly water rates among communities with populations between 600 and 800 across Nebraska. The rate is $6.67 a month plus $1.50 per 1,000 gallons of water use. Since the city bills on a quarterly basis, it translates to $20 per quarter plus $1.50 per 1,000 gallons used.
After a lengthy discussion where it was repeatedly said no one wants to raise rates, but there’s no other option, council members approved a new rate which will take effect on January 1, 2013. The new rate will be $60 per quarter plus $1.75 per 1,000 gallons used. Water customers will see their quarterly water bills increase by $40 from what they are now. The $1.75 per 1,000 gallons fee is up 25 cents from the current rate.
“I think people can handle that,” Councilman Don Mackel said.
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