The next phase of increasing the waste water rates for residents of Dell Rapids took a step closer to being implemented. During the Dell Rapids City Council regular meeting on Monday, December 5th, the council approved the first reading of two new ordinances.
Ordinance 842 will be adding a waste water surcharge of $8.60 to residents’ bills. However, Ordinance 843 will be a decrease in the base amount of waste water. Currently the base amount is $18.34. The ordinance will be lowering that base amount to $16.00, which will offset some of the $8.60 surcharge. The per 1,000 gallon rate of $5.06 will remain the same.
City Administrator Justin Weiland said, “The city, at the beginning of 2016, increased our rates knowing that we would be looking at this increase for this waste water treatment facility. So we wanted the impact of the customers to be rolled in and not have to be a large increase, we could taper it in over the course of a few years.”
Councilman Mark Crisp added, “This is something that we’ve known was coming for a year and a half now.”
Weiland also pointed out during the discussion that the city received grants in a total amount of $3,372,000, which is about 55% of the total cost of $5.5 million for the new waste water treatment facility. Weiland said that without those grant dollars the residents would have had an increase of almost double what the new surcharge increase will be.
If both ordinances pass the second reading at the next city council meeting, the new rates are slated to begin with the February 2017 cycle and billed in March.
The waste water facility project is being done by the city to come into compliance with ammonia discharge.