MONROE CITY, Mo. — Aldermen in Monroe City voted Thursday night to increase water and sewer rates by an average of 32% for all customers.

The precise percentage increase depends on usage. Residents will see a $30 increase in their water and sewer rates with the Nov. 1 billing as the city deals with a significant shortfall in the water and sewer revenues.

After a public hearing, the Monroe City Board of Aldermen increased water rates a flat $20 per month and sewer rates $10 per month. No one spoke or asked questions during the public meeting.

Monroe City leaders face tough choices with dual issues of needing to upgrade the water delivery system and losing money on providing water service.

A study by the city’s water utility contractor, PeopleService, found that during the 2018-19 budget years, Monroe City lost $224,040 pumping water to customers.

During that period, the water utility reported expenses of $846,640, while revenues were $622,040.

“We did not take this decision lightly,” said Alderman Rusty Rothweiler prior to making the motion for the increase. “One of our biggest challenges is providing the same services with a loss of population.”

Based on the study information, the board decided to go with a flat increase.

“We felt a flat fee was the fairest way. That way everybody pays the same amount,” said Mayor Jerry Potterfield.

It is estimated the $20 per month increase in water rates will bring in an additional $289,920 a year while the sewer rate increase will add approximately $144,000 in revenue.

This increase will generate the required funds to maintain and operate the facilities but does not include contributions to a capital improvement fund for the water treatment plant and distribution system, which could have an impact on future rates.

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