Monroe is one step closer to raising water rates for the first time in a decade.
The issue was discussed at Monday night’s city council meeting, where a proposal was introduced that could raise residents’ water bills by nearly 70-percent over two years.
Consultants said over the first year, rates would be increased $3.66 per month.
During the second year, you could see a $4.76 increase in rates.
Consultants said the money is necessary to make much-needed improvements to infrastructure.
“So it’s issues that if we don’t address through how we operate the system or maintain the system- you have to have the money to do that,” consultant Ted Kelly said.
They also discussed that the city must increase its water plant capacity in order to support the area’s growth.
The increase will also allow the city to keep up with growing operational costs.
“For water and sewer systems around the country, operation and maintenance expenses have been going up on average, about 5.5-percent, a year,” Kelly added.
Financial advisor Andy Thompson made it clear that Monroe’s water costs are lower, on average, than other cities in the South.
“You’re on the low end and doing this gets us back in the middle of the pack,” Thompson said.
If passed, the ordinance is expected to generate nearly $15 million dollars over two years.