Water, sewer rates likely to increase for city

Residents who use Homer water and sewer services will likely see a slight increase to their rates, according to Finance Director Elizabeth Walton.

During a work session on water and sewer rates held at Homer City Hall before the regular council meeting Monday, Walton detailed the structure of the rates and what the outlook is for 2019.

Walton suggested the water rate increase by 10 cents per 100 gallons, and the sewer rate increase by 20 cents per 100 gallons.

The amount of water and sewer consumption by users has a direct effect on the rates that will be charged for the service, Walton explained.

“Our costs of maintaining infrastructure are increasing, and they increase every year,” she said. “And surprisingly, in 2018 the consumption was down overall. So if consumption is down, the per gallon fee ultimately goes up. So the less people that use the water, the more it costs for a gallon of water.”

Monthly fees are set to remain the same, Walton explained, because the number of meters has changed slightly, but not enough to change those fees.

Walton did note that, so far for 2019, water consumption within the city is up.

“So hopefully that trend will bear out for the remainder of the year,” she said.

City Manager Katie Koester said an official measure on water and sewer rates will be up for discussion at the council’s next meeting on May 28.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.