Study Indicates Need for Knox Water, Sewer Rate Increases

City_of_Knox_LogoKnox residents may soon be paying more for monthly water and sewer service. A rate study done by accounting firm Umbaugh and Associates finds more money is needed to keep up with operating expenses, equipment replacement and infrastructure upgrades. Much of the infrastructure dates to the 1960s, according to information presented to the Knox City Council last night. The rate study also finds Knox’s utility bills are among the lowest municipal rates in the area.

Council members noted the need for better enforcement of ordinances already on the books, such as water metering requirements. Some private homes which have been turned into multi-unit structures only pay one water bill, for instance, and not all apartment usage is metered. John Julian from Umbaugh and Associates says while that will buy the city some time it will not be enough to avoid some sort of an increase. He recommended city officials implement something that will take effect early next year in order to achieve maximum benefit.

Before any rate increase can be implemented, an ordinance to do so must be introduced and a rate hearing conducted. Right now the lowest minimum monthly bill for all city utilities, including trash collection, is $64.56. That would go up to a minimum of $75.96 based on options outlined in the rate study.