City Asks PSC For Water Rate Increase
The Rhinelander city council has voted 6-2 to ask state regulators for a 30 percent increase in water rates. Officials say, if approved, it could mean about $8 more per month for the average utility user. A study found the water utility losing money, and the increase was needed to get the utility back on sound financial footing. Council member Alex Young said this past budget cycle, the council took money from the utilities to put into the city's general fund to help it balance...
"....we're transferring a substantial amount of money out of those utilities into the city general fund and it was done as a budget balancing measure..."
Young felt the water utilities shouldn't have taken the steep hit. The city last raised water rates in 2008. Even with the increase, the rates charged in Antigo and Merrill. The council approved asking state regulator, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, to approve the increase. Should the P.S.C. consider the increase, a public hearing will be held.