Residents expected to see increase in utility fees, landfill costs by Sept. 1

Carson City residents will likely be hit with a slew of rate hikes this year that will pay for utility projects and offset the cost of services passed down from the state.

At their Aug. 4 meeting, the Carson City Board of Supervisors will consider adopting amendments to four ordinances that would increase various utility and landfill rates and fees, said Ken Arnold, the city's environmental manager. If approved, the increases would go into effect on bills dated on or after Sept. 1, and would amount to nearly $8 per month, or $91 annually.

Revenue generated by water and sewer rate increases would go directly into enterprise funds to pay for ongoing projects.

• The increase to sewer service rates is proposed to be 14 percent - 1 percent for operations and 13 percent for capital program debt service, mainly for sewer line relocations as a result of the freeway project, Arnold said. The average residential increase would be $3.48 per month.

• The city is also proposing an increase in water service rates of 5 percent - 1 percent for operations and 4 percent for capital program debt service, primarily for freeway drainage projects. The average residential increase would be about $1.14 per month.

In addition, the city wants to implement a number of available increases which would go into the general fund to pay for a portion of state pass-throughs, which amount to $1.1 million for 2011-12.

• Residents also would see increases on their monthly bills for water and sewer right-of-way tolls. This could be raised from 1 percent to 2 percent - about 50 cents per month more on a residential toll for a combined water and sewer bill. It is expected to raise $175,000.

• An increase in electric and natural-gas business license franchise fees is also being proposed. The average residential increase for both fees would be about $2.50 per month.

The SW Gas fee would go up 1/2 percent, from 4.5 percent to the cap of 5 percent, and is expected to generate an additional $151,000 annually.

NV Energy's fee would go up a full 1 percent, from 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent, and is expected to bring in about $571,000. The city will be able to raise the fee another 1/2 percent in fiscal year 2012-13 to the cap of 5 percent.

• The increase to landfill fees would vary according to category and would generally increase $3 per ton for normal residential household-type waste. Other fees and categories have been consolidated, Arnold said.

"About 62 percent of the city has curbside pickup," Arnold said, and wouldn't be affected by the increase.

The city likely will need to take a look at a property tax hike next year, said Finance Director Nick Providenti.

For more information, email to Arnold at or call 887-2355, Ext. 7357.


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