City Council Approves 2019 Utility Rates

City Council Approves 2019 Utility Rates
Posted on 12/13/2018
At the December 10 New Hope City Council Meeting, council approved increases to multiple incremental utility rates for 2019. The total impact of the utility fee increases on an “average” residential utility customer (who uses 5,000 gallons of water a month) is predicted at approximately $4.69 per month.

Sanitary sewer rates will increase by 7.5 percent in 2019. The minimum fee increased 59¢ to $8.47 (which includes the first 1,000 gallons). The volume rate increased 40¢ to $5.63 for each additional 1,000 gallons. A sewage treatment surcharge – to pay charges from the Met Council for excessive inflow and infiltration of storm water into New Hope’s sanitary sewer system following peak rain events – increased 4¢ to 57¢ per thousand gallons.

Water rates increased by 5 percent in 2019. The base fee increased 40¢ to $8.45. New Hope has a graduated water rate scale to encourage conservation. The volume rate per 1,000 gallons for up to 10,000 gallons increased 30¢ to $6.23. Higher volume rates will also increase 5 percent over 2018 rates. An emergency water supply/water main repair fee (50¢/1,000 gallons) and a state water testing fee (53¢) did not change in 2019.

The storm drainage fee increased by 5 percent, or 37¢ per residential unit each month, to $7.96. The street light fee also increased by 5 percent. The recycling fee remained flat at $3.65 per month, as it has since 2017.

Operation, maintenance and improvement to the city’s sanitary sewer, water and storm sewer utility systems are each funded by separate enterprise funds in New Hope’s budget. The revenue for each of those funds comes from the fees charged to the city’s utility customers. A Utility Rate Study completed by New Hope’s financial consultant, Abdo, Eick and Meyers, in fall 2018 recommended the utility rates that would be required to keep the funds from falling below targeted cash balances.

The 2019 utility rates take effect on Jan. 1 and will first appear on utility bills customers receive in March (for utilities used since the start of the year). For additional information visit the utility billing section of the city’s website at newhopemn.gov/utilitybill.