WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The price you pay for water and sewer could be going up as many cities across Kansas say it is getting more expensive for them to operate the plants.
“If you’d asked me just about any city, I would tell you they’re being pinched the same as we are,” said Nick Gregory, McPherson city administrator.
Some cities like Wichita and Derby have already taken steps to raise water rates at the beginning of the new year. In Wichita, the recommended rate adjustments are 6.25% for water and 3% for sewer. The average impact is $3.54.
Inflation is taking a toll on keeping plants running as they should.
“Not only are you already seeing increases in equipment costs, the availability of those and not even knowing when those are going to be available, and whether the prices that they can tell us right now are going to be guaranteed over an extended period of time,” Gregory said.
McPherson is having conversations on how to handle it.
“We talk about equipment and what can we do without what are the things that we can afford with the money we’ve got. As a taxing authority, we have to be cognizant of taxpayers and the reality that each of them are facing with inflationary costs as well,” Gregory said.
In Newton, the City is looking into changing its water and sewer rates for the first time in six years. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, they will be discussing rate options at their commission meeting at noon.
Meanwhile, in El Dorado, they are looking to keep rates as is.
“We’re trying to kind of gauge what these price increases are gonna be and if they are a long-term trend change that we kind of have to adjust with. So by kind of analyzing that spending down a little fund reserve if we have to, that allows us to forego the necessary rate increases,” said David Dillner, El Dorado’s city manager.
Dillner says if costs do not decrease long term, they will reconsider rates, “For right now, we’re just kind of letting it go, and that might mean that we have to cut back on some of the maintenance work that we want to do. But we are moving forward with some projects right now.”