Aurora water bills likely to increase this year and next
By Stephanie Lulay firstname.lastname@example.org August 21, 2013 5:42PM
Updated: September 23, 2013 2:43PM
AURORA — Aurora officials announced plans Tuesday night that would increase water bills two ways: by rate and fee.
The city aims to increase the rate for water and sewer service by about 5 percent this year and an additional 5 percent in 2014, according to city Finance Director Brian Caputo. The ordinance would raise the city’s rate on Sept. 1 of this year and on July 1, 2014.
For the average household, the rate hike would translate into an increase of about $3.62 on their bi-monthly water bill.
According to Caputo, an average water customer’s bill is $69.28. Under the increase this year, that bill would increase to $72.90. In 2014, the average water bill would be $76.75.
Additionally, the city is proposing increasing a fee to $3.95 from $2.05 that is tacked on to the user’s bi-monthly water bill. The fee, which is itemized as “EPA-Mandated Long-Term Control Plan Fee” on water bills, is intended to provide funding to implement the city’s long-term water control plan, Caputo said.
That long-term plan’s combined sewer separation projects would bring the city into compliance with Federal Clean Water Act rules and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Combined Sewer Overflow Policy. The projects are estimated to cost a total of $120 million and will be phased out over a 20-year period, according to a city memo.
Caputo said that the current $2.05 fee will not provide adequate funding and the increase to a $3.95 fee will generate an additional $715,000 annually. The new fee would be effective Sept. 1.
The proposed water/sewer rate increase would raise an estimated $1.8 million in additional revenue this year and $2.3 million more in 2014.
Mayor Tom Weisner said the EPA’s mandate to municipalities to separate sewer systems is an unfunded one. Weisner said he hoped that as cities recovered from the economic recession, the EPA would have delayed the mandate to complete those projects.
“But the EPA has not done that,” he said.
Aldermen will vote on the proposed water fee and rate increases at City Council at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place.