City of Duncan approves rate increase of 1.9 percent for water and sewer services

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO)- If you live in Duncan, expect to see a slight increase in your current or next utility bill. City council members recently approved an almost two-percent increase for its water and sewer services.

Their water bills will go up about a dollar and 50 cents or less per month. City Manager Kimberly Meek said these small changes will help in the long run. The rate increase of 1.9 percent for water and sewer services began in 2014 after the drought hit.

"Water was so scarce, we hired a third party company to do an evaluation on water rate studies. Our water utilities was not bringing in enough revenue to pay for the expenses of the utilities or to provide for any infrastructure that we might need to help to provide for the drought," said Meek.

City Manager Kimberly Meek said the city implemented a three year block rate increase in 2017 based on the Consumer Pricing Index or CPI.

"For the average users, if you are using the minimum amount of water that would be a 38 cents increase per month on their water bill. At the same time last year in 2017 city council voted on a block rate increase and that will at the same user level that will be a 94 cents increase, so a total increase of a dollar and 32 cents per month," said Meek.

Meek said the plan will generate about a half of million dollars a year that they can use for several projects including help with the water department and the city's general fund.

"It helps us put money to the side to provide for the Lake Humphreys project where we connected and we can pull water from Lake Humphrey and we can pull water from Waurika lake into lake Humphrey," said Meek.

At the last city council meeting, members also approved a nearly $400,000 dollar contract plan with an engineering company to help with the city's waste water inflow and infiltration plan.

"Our waste water treatment plant is designed to handle 6.25 million gallons per day of waste water and we were seeing 13 million gallons come through," said Meek.

Meek said the heavy rainfall from 2015 and 2016 caused the problems in the system. Engineers will work in the next four years to study the inflow and infiltration. They will provide a plan to the city that will include the areas where they find problems, how much it will cost to fix them, and information about future testing. Meek adds if the company has to perform any work close to neighborhoods, engineers will notify homeowners about what they are doing first.

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