COLUMBIA CITY â€” Tri-Lakes residents could possibly see an increase in their sewer bills starting in June.
Expensive sewer repairs and rising maintenance costs have led the Tri-Lakes Sewer District to visit the idea of increasing rates .97 cents.
According to the District Administrator Carol Martin the average sewer bill will increase from $37.88 to $38.85 for Phase I customers. Phase II customers, on average, will see a new amount of $51.40.
â€śWe arenâ€™t talking about a big change in the amount charged to our customers,â€ť said Martin.â€ť Taking this increase little by little is a lot easier for customers to swallow than one big shot in the arm.â€ť
Phase Iâ€™s system is almost 20 years old and with the aging system comes costly repairs such as pumps.
â€śOne pump alone is $30,000,â€ť Martin said. â€śIt just like maintaining a car. You have to do the maintenance or it will cost you more in the long run.â€ť
If the increase goes through, some 1,800 customers will see the change on their June bills.
â€śThis is just part of what has to be done to continue to provide the best service to our customers,â€ť Martin said.
For customers who would like to share their opinion on the rate increase, a public hearing is set for April 8 at 6 p.m.
It will be held at the Tri-Lakes Lions Club, 2800 E. Colony Ave., Columbia City.
â€śThis is a chance for residents to speak to the board,â€ť Martin said.
â€śThere wonâ€™t be any questions or answers, but people can come and tell the board what they think. The board will proceed to vote on the ordinance.â€ť