Oneida water, sewer rates jump 27.5%

Linda Bell/GateHouse News Service

Oneida water and sewer users will see an increase in the next monthly billing.

Ward 1 alderman Bill Spilman, chairman of the water and sewer committee, said Oct. 6 the September audit report showed that the city had moved $69,029 in the past year from other funds to the water and sewer funds to cover costs.

The city’s auditors, Blucker, Kneer & Associates had recommended that the city raise its water and sewer rates for several years, Spilman said.

Mayor Larry Lawson said the last time rates were raised, it was just enough to cover the cost of a project.

Spilman’s committee researched water, sewer and refuse rates for nearby towns and cities in determining the rate of increase and also tried to make sure the new rates would not unduly burden any group such as those on fixed incomes or large water users.

The council approved the rate increase, which Spilman said was “just over 27 and one-half percent.”

The new ordinance provides a discount on refuse for elderly citizens who can provide annual proof of qualification for the Circuit Breaker program. Those residents will pay $3 monthly for refuse instead of the normal $10.50 charge, which was not changed.

Out-of-town sewer users will be charged at double the rate of in-town users, but he former $25 fee was removed.