Florence residents will be forking out a few more dollars for their utility bills this summer after City Council voted across the board June 4 to increase rates. The city says the typical residential ratepayer should see an increase of about $10 per month. The new fees apply to each dwelling unit and will be seen in August bills.
The street light utility fee, set at $2 since 2009, has been redefined as a “street maintenance fee” and raised to $5 a month.
The original fee aimed to cover the city’s light bill, but has fallen short. In recent times the smaller fee generated about $88,700, while the actual costs for lighting were more like $107,700, with zero dollars going to actual street maintenance. The increase is intended to help offset years of declining revenues for the city, and could bring in about $160,000 annually against the gap in the current street maintenance program, which currently comprises about 38 miles of paved streets.
The city’s recommendations to council, prepared by City Manager Jacque Betz and Public Works Director Mike Miller, state that “this new fee will not fix the long-term problem (of funding street maintenance). The city will continue to work with the League of Oregon Cities in researching what other cities are doing in achieving sustainability with their roads system.”
Betz explained that the need for rate increases became apparent during last year’s long-range budget planning.
Responding to analyses by an outside consultant conducted last year, the council also voted to increase water and wastewater utilities. This is the second increase on water rates in the last two years.For the complete article see the 06-23-2012 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-23-2012 paper.
Share on Facebook