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THE PRICE OF SEWER WORK: City finalizes utility rate board ordinance

July 25, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Due to possible future increases in sewer rates, Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel will be getting to work on building a Utility Rate Advisory Board.

“In the near future, we are going to have a lot of decision-making that is going to happen in regards to the sewer rates and how we are going to fund $12 to $13 million in sewer work,” Daniel said.

Columbia City’s Common Council passed the second reading of its Utility Rate Advisory Board Ordinance Tuesday, clearing the way for Daniel to appoint five members to the board.

The board, as per ordinance changes, will consist of four utility payers inside the city limits and one utility customer from outside.

Daniel said he will begin working on advisory board selections within the next couple of weeks. The reason he is getting started so quickly is because the city is anticipating possible rate increases even before an expensive project that is nearly six years down the road.

Conversations with the public have informed city officials that most people want the rate increases phased-in slowly over time — not all at once.

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