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City considers summer, winter sewer rates

Yukon residents could soon get a break on their summer utility bills after the city council authorized the city attorney to draft an ordinance to implement summer/winter utility rates.
City Manager Jim Crosby said the proposal would help customers by lowering utility bills, especially during the summer.
Yukon currently charges for water and sewer based on the amount of water that is used. However, during the summer, the amount of water used is higher than it is during the winter.
Crosby said customers are charged for sewer services based on the amount of water that is used.
That is not appropriate because much of that water does not go into the sewer lines, Crosby said. It often is used to fill swimming pools, for sprinkler systems and to water gardens.
Yukon once charged lower rates for sewer services during the summer. However, that was changed to a standard water/sewer rate at the urging of then-City Manager Grayson Bottom.
Crosby encouraged the council to consider returning to the two rates.
The summer rate for sewer would go into effect for water used between April and October.
Customers would see the adjustments on the May through November bills.
The sewer rate would be $4.75 per 1,000 gallons of water used. Currently, the rate increases to $5 per 1,000 gallons after the customer reaches 2,000 gallons of water.
Under Crosby’s proposal, during the summer months, the sewer rate would remain flat because of the additional useage.
However, during the winter months, from October through March, those using above 2,000 gallons of water would see the higher sewer rates.
“We’re trying to be equitable and look at where the cutoff is for high water rates and high sewer rates,” he said.
Crosby said most customers would see a reduction in their utility bills over the summer.
During the winter months, most customers would see their normal bills.
Crosby said the proposal would affect only sewer rates. Water rates will not be affected.
“We’re not raising rates,” he said.
The change also will not affect the city’s finances significantly, he said.
City council member Shelli Selby had requested that Crosby look at the possible return to the split rates a few months ago.
Residents often complain about Yukon’s high utility bills. Crosby said the idea is to help the customer.
“People have a pool, they have a sprinkler system, a garden, things of that nature. They utilize a lot of water for that purpose. They will get a break during the summertime,” Crosby said.
The city manager said he expects to bring the proposal back to the council for its approval at a meeting either later this month or early in December.
The new rate structure would not go into effect until April.

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