Minden board OKs rate hikes | RecordCourier.com
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Minden board OKs rate hikes

by Sheila Gardner

Minden officials voted last week to raise water and trash collection rates for the town’s residential and commercial customers.

The rate hikes – 4 percent for water and 7 percent for trash – would go into effect July 1 after public hearings at the March and April town board meetings.

Officials expressed concern that the town’s customers would be alarmed at the increase after Douglas County authorized adding 1.5 percent to utility bills to pay for a proposed senior center.

Commissioners approved the utility fee Thursday, but the matter is subject to a second public hearing before taking effect.

“I don’t want us bearing the brunt of public anger if they (commissioners) put the surcharge on the (utility) bills,” said town board member Bob Hadfield. “I’m afraid we’ll get nailed for being greedy.”

The utility fees would be attached to Douglas County residents’ telephone, gas and electric bills.

Town board chairman Ross Chichester explained the board decided last year to review the water and sewer charges annually.

Last year, the board raised rates 8 and 10 percent because it had been five years since the last hike.

“It’s the charge for services, for the actual cost of doing business,” Chichester said. “A much smaller, regular increase has less impact on users. It reflects the cost of producing water.”

The 4 percent hike in water rates adds up to $1.03 per month, or $12.36 annually for the town’s single-family home customers. The monthly bill is to increase from $25.70 to $26.73.

Patio home owners’ bills are to increase from $22.75 to $23.86.

A 7 percent rate hike in trash fees equals an additional $1.11 per month or $13.32 annually.

The monthly rate for trash collection is to increase from $15.85 for residential customers to $16.96.