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City decides against raising water rates
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City water and sewer rates will remain the same, for now.During a city Water and Sewer Committee meeting, the decision was made to table discussion and not take action on a recommendation by Alderman Jimmy Bonner to raise rates by 1 percent annually.“Our water rates haven’t gone up in the last five years all that much,” said Bonner, committee chairman. “I know 1 percent isn’t much but if we can do it across the board from year to year to year, we won’t get back into a situation where we have to raise the water rates like we did.”Going into effect in January 2014, customers inside the city limits were given a 19 percent water rate increase and those outside the city limits saw a 30 percent increase. The increase generated close to $1 million in additional revenue to cover $854,388 the state said the department needed to cover expenses.The city’s Water Department is an enterprise system, meaning user rates, fees and charges must be sufficient to meet the actual costs of providing water and sewer services.