The Douglas City Council unanimously passed a resolution to raise utility rates by about 4% this year and next year for water, sewer and sanitation/landfill during a meeting last week. This will go into effect May 1 both years.

Council also got rid of the original plan’s proposed 25% differential between city and non-city residents – meaning those living outside the city limits but using city services will now pay the same price as city residents for water and sewer.

City council and city administration had explored these ideas during a work session last month, with the general consensus being in favor of the 4% hike among the council, as opposed to the administration’s proposal with a range of price increases depending on the service (water, sewer, sanitation, landfill, etc.) and volume of usage.

At that time, no official decisions could be made, since it wasn’t a regular meeting but a work session, but last week the council took formal action.

Council member Ron McNare had initially proposed the 4% rate increase during the work session, suggesting they break up the city administration’s proposed 13.92% average increase.

The rest of the council sided with him unofficially during the work session and again more officially during the council meeting last week.

In February, city administration proposed a rate change plan to the council, which was based on a $25,000 study completed by Great Rates in 2019.

Last week, city council also shot down the original plan’s increased municipal swimming pool prices, which they had came to a general consensus to do during the work session as well. Because of that, the rates for the water park this summer will remain the same as they were for the last two years.

The fees have been $1 for children under age 12 and $2 for those older than 12. Seasonal passes will remain at $15 for children under age 12 and $45 for 12 and older.

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