Utility rate hikes in Shawnee are about to take effect. As March 1 approaches, the water, sewer and trash increases will begin to show up on customers' bills.

Utility rate hikes in Shawnee are about to take effect.

As March 1 approaches, the water, sewer and trash increases will begin to show up on customers' bills.

Water, trash and sewage rates each received a bump in cost for residents; the increases — depending on water usage — will average about $9 to $11 more each month for residents, Assistant City Manager Chance Allison said in December.

At that time, commissioners also voted to allow the city's staff to annually review the Consumer Price Index to measure average changes over time each year and evaluate to determine and/or implement adjustments locally, as needed.

Rate hikes (Effective March 1, 2019)

Trash

Solid waste fee schedule changes for residents amount to a $1 increase: The cost for using a small polycart (65 gallon) will be $14.39; The cost for using a large polycart (95 gallon) will be $17.89; An additional polycart will cost $9; and service will be $17.89.

For garbage-only service, rates will be a minimum deposit of $20, instead of $15.

“The reason (for the increase) is that the $15 was lower than the flat monthly fee, so we believe this is a reasonable increase,” Allison said.

Water

According to the City of Shawnee Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2017, since 2013 water rates in city limits have not changed; they have remained at $20.70 for the base rate of up to 1,000 gallons; adding $3.89 (per thousand gallons) for up to 4,000 gallons; $3.99 for up to 1,000,000 gallons; $4.09 for up to 2,000,000 gallons; and $4.19 for more than that.

New rates will raise the cost by $1.55 for up to 1,000 gallons ($22.25); it will raise the cost by 29 cents more (per thousand gallons) for up to 4,000 gallons; it will raise the cost by 30 cents up to 1,000,000 gallons; it would raise the cost by 31 cents up to 2,000,000 gallons; and 31 cents for more than that.

Outside city costs will rise from $24.06 for the first 1,000 gallons, to $25.86 — an added difference of $1.80. Rates up to 4,000 gallons will increase by 44 cents (per thousand gallons), from the current cost of $5.84 to the new rate of $6.28. For up to 1,000,000 gallons, an increase of 45 cents is shown as current rates of $5.99 will go up to $6.44. Up to 2,000,000 gallons will cost $6.60, instead of $6.14, an added cost of 46 cents. More than 2,000,000 gallons will cost $6.76, as opposed to $6.29 — a difference of 47 cents.

There also will be increases in rates for those outside city limits.

Sewer

In city limits, sewer rates for up to 1,000 gallons would cost $14.51. Currently they are $13.50. For more than 1,000 gallons the additional charge would be $3.21, instead of the current $2.90.

For those outside city limits, the new rate for up to 1,000 would be $21.77, as opposed to the current cost at $20.25. Over that, the hike will add $4.68, instead of the cost now at $4.35.

At the same time utility rate hikes were approved, several new fees were added; new fees became effective in February.

New Fees (Became effective Feb. 1, 2019)

• Implementation of a $5 fee for issuing a customer a cutoff notice. Allison said the city has an average of 1,500 residents each month who don't pay their water bills until a cutoff notice has been issued.

“This will be an incentive for them to pay their bills earlier,” he said.

• A monthly meter maintenance fee is now being charged to each account for the maintenance of meters.

The fee for residents adds a $6 charge per month per meter.

Commercial fees vary depending on the size of the meter:

— For a 3/4-inch meter to 1-inch meter, there is an added $6 to the monthly bill;

— 1.5-inch meter is $7;

— 2-inch meter is $9;

— 3-inch meter is $13;

— 4-inch meter is $17;

— 5-inch meter is $21;

— 6-inch meter is $25; and

— 8-inch meter is $34

• A rescheduling fee of $25 is being charged in the event that a service call has to be adjusted.

Allison said the goal is to deter missed appointments.

“Residents are required to be at home when the water department comes,” he said. The costs tied to repeated trips to a residence — and time and manpower — should be alleviated by this fee, Allison said.

• An after-hours connection service fee of $50 was adopted.

• There is now a $25 fee for transfer of service.

• The fee for water service is a $75 deposit. Previously, charges for a deposit were $100 for property owners and $125 for those who rent.

Allison said the city charges a deposit to use toward an outstanding bill (if it doesn't get paid after a move), and since the average bill for a month is about $75, the city determined the $100-$125 price tag was more than what was necessary.

“So we are charging a $75 deposit across the board for everyone,” he said.

• A $25 processing fee is assessed to each new residential water service account.

For more utility-related information, visit shawneeok.org or call (405) 878-1560.