Janesville60.1°

Janesville utility rates to jump by nearly 30%

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
November 10, 2009
— Wastewater rates for the average Janesville consumer will rise about $70 in 2010, an increase of 30 percent, and city staff says much of the reason is because of a planned upgrade and expansion at the treatment plant and the closing of General Motors.

As a result, the city will relinquish its spot at or near the bottom of a list of 13 peer cities when its water and wastewater rates are compared.


The council approved the increase Monday. It already had been included in the 2010 budget.


The money goes to pay the utility's debt, and for operations, maintenance and equipment replacement.


The rate increase will generate $2.12 million in additional revenue in 2010, staff said.


City staff predicts a 5-percent decline in revenue in 2010, primarily because GM closed and also because of a decline in residential use.


But the largest impact comes from cash needed to fund the $32.7 million wastewater treatment plant upgrade and expansion. The debt service increase in the 2010 budget is $1.57 million.


An overall increase of 9 percent also was implemented in 2009.


The average residential customer now pays $61.60 per quarter to the wastewater utility, according to staff. The proposed rate would be $79.65. This does not include the bill for water, which is $35.85 per quarter. That rate is not proposed to increase this year.


After the rate increase, the total average bill per quarter for water and wastewater for the average residential consumer would be $120 per quarter. The bill also includes a quarterly charge for fire protection, which is $4.90. That total is 17 percent below the average of Janesville's 13 peer cities, according to a staff memo.


The highest charge is $274.35 in Fond du Lac, while the lowest is $75.10 in La Crosse. The average is $145.56.


Larger users will experience a greater rate increase. Industrial rates, for example, would increase about 33 percent.



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