By Tim Farley
Yukon water rates will increase 7 percent beginning with the January bill if a proposed measure is approved by the city council later this month.
In addition, garbage rates will go up slightly if the council passes that proposal at the same meeting. Sewer rates will remain the same.
“I feel it’s an equitable thing and a reasonable rate for the people,” City Manager Jim Crosby said.
The basic rate for utility customers who use 2,000 gallons of water or less per month would increase from $13.50 to $14.45. That would place Yukon with the fourth lowest water rate among 10 metro area cities. Only Edmond, Midwest City and Norman have lower rates, according to figures provided by Yukon city officials.
The average water rate for those who use 2,000 gallons or less per month among the 10 cities is $16.54.
The proposals were presented to the city council during a work session prior to Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting.
Water customers who use more than 2,000 gallons a month would experience larger increases. Customers who use 2,000 to 12,000 gallons per month would pay $4.05 per thousand gallons. Residents who use 12,000 or more gallons would pay $4.77 per thousand gallons of water.
The proposed rate hikes are due primarily to the 12 percent increase Oklahoma City will charge metro cities who use its water. Cities that purchase water from Oklahoma City will begin paying the higher rate in January.
Crosby said Yukon buys about 70 percent of its water from Oklahoma City.
Meanwhile, the residential garbage rates will go from $5.16 to $5.46 for customers who use 3,000 gallons of water or less per month. Yukon provides up to two trash carts for homeowners and one of the carts is issued at no cost, Crosby said. Residents who use 3,000 gallons of water or more per month would pay $18.79 for sanitation.
At the same time, rural garbage rates will be increased to $30.05 per month. The last time rural garbage rates were increased was in 2009, Crosby told the council. The council provided the sanitation department a $50,000 subsidy last year to meet its operating expenses. In addition, the sanitation department recently purchased two garbage trucks at a total cost of $430,595.
The city may raise sanitation rates each year each October based on the Consumer Price Index increase. If there is no increase in the CPI, rates shall remain unchanged. The council may also decide to forego a sanitation increase with a majority vote. The council will consider the rate hikes at its Oct. 16 meeting.