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Water rates raised in Duncan

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) – The City of Duncan recently approved an increase for their water rates starting this year and going through 2022.

An average household would see about a 6 dollar increase on their water bill each month. Overall, the plan would help with the city's infrastructure problems and other projects that need to be fixed or upgraded.

Bob Leverett has lived in Duncan his entire life. Every month he pays about 150 dollars for his water bill. Leverett said the rate increase won't affect him as much, but he knows how much of a stress it will be to others.

"It's going to make it hard on the people with fixed incomes and trying to make end meet," Leverett said.

Duncan City Manager Kimberly Meek said in February of 2015, the city and the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation formed a water advisory committee during the drought. That board hired an engineering firm to conduct studies on the water rates. They found that the water department was operating at a loss--forcing them to dip into the general revenue fund to cover their costs.  And now the general fund is also experiencing a revenue shortage, so Meek said the rate hike was a last resort, but their only option.

"It benefits the city in that we will have more operational funds available, so more staff, more ability to maintain lines, repair lines also we can began to create what I would call a rainy day fund or a backup so we can do projects. we are working on a five year capital improvement plan and when that becomes available around budget time we will know more," Meek said.

The new rate changes went into effect Monday.

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