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Dixon approves water rate increase

DIXON, Mo. (Oct. 13, 2015) — Members of the Dixon City Council agreed Tuesday night to increase water rates by two cents, raising the rate to 0.210 for in-town residents and 0.220 for out-of-town customers, but left the city sewer rates and base charges for water and sewer unchanged.

That vote, which was unanimous except for Alderman Lynn Whitten, who was absent, followed a proposal presented by Mayor Shawn Wethington, who said leaving the base usage rate unchanged means the increase will primarily affect large-volume water users rather than ordinary water customers. That could include customers who fill their swimming pools.

City Engineer John Doyle said an increase is overdue and probably unavoidable. Responding to questions from Wethington, Doyle noted that the city needs to qualify for grants if it wants to improve or maintain its water and sewer utilties.

“They don’t want you to be not charging hardly anything; they want you to help yourself first, which we have done,” Doyle said. “What I don’t want you to get into is the situation you were in five years ago (with major rate hikes).”

Doyle said the city’s proposed rates are comparable to other area rates.

“Let me ask again: we didn’t compare ourselves to St.Robert and Waynesville, did we?” asked Alderman Diane Shultz.

Doyle said his comparability numbers were to other area cities of comparable size to Dixon, not larger cities such as those mentioned by Shults. The sewer rates are one to two dollars above the minimum, Doyle said, but water rates are a dollar to two dollars below the minimum to qualify for grants.

“At some point it’s going to have to be addressed,” Doyle said.

The rate increase will take effect with the next water billing period, which begins Nov. 1.

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