Sioux Center Municipal Utilities is considering a wastewater rate increase over the next two years to maintain and support the wastewater collection system that spans the town.
“We completed a study of our collection system in 2022 – the force mains, gravity sewer lines, and lift stations – to identify our bottlenecks and vulnerabilities,” said Utilities Manager Murray Hulstein. “This will help with maintenance, repairs and improvements, especially as costs continue to increase.”
Sioux Center Municipal Utilities maintains 44 miles of sanitary sewer lines and 10 lift stations, which collect wastewater from homes and businesses and transport it to the wastewater treatment plant, where it is extensively treated to high standards before being released.
“We consider wastewater service as one of the very fundamental needs of the community on a day-to-day basis and as we talk about future growth,” Hulstein said.
The proposed increase is about a 3% increase in each of the next two years. For a residence that uses about 6,000 gallons a month, the proposed rate change would add about $1.61 to the monthly bill this November, and about $1.64 starting in November 2023. For a commercial business like a laundromat using 95,000 gallons a month, this increase would be about $15.85 a month starting in November and a similar increase in November 2023.
The proposed rate increase will also help with costs associated with changes to prepare for future Iowa Department of Natural Resources permit requirements.
The Sioux Center City Council approved the first reading of the wastewater rate ordinance and will consider a second reading at the Council meeting Thursday, Sept. 15. The rate changes would begin in November after the third reading is approved by Council.