Albert Rukwaro
Special to Gardner News
The city of Gardner will adjust electric, water and wastewater rates following a recent rate structure study.
According to the Spring 2019 ‘Inside Gardner’ newsletter, residential electric customers will see a two percent rate reduction on their monthly bills starting in January 2020. Business customers will experience changes on their electric bills based on their historical usage data. Business customers have been reclassified into three categories- small, medium and large- depending on their demand level. The city urged business customers to contact the city for information on which category they fall in as the rates will vary from business to business.
Water rates will increase 3.7 percent for all customers starting in 2020 and for the next ten years to finance the expansion of the city’s treatment plant at Hillsdale Lake and the implementation of conservation systems.
According to the newsletter, the city’s growing population has led to an increase in water demand leading to disruption such as the nearly eight-week mandatory water restriction imposed last summer.
“The city experienced a water warning in summer 2018, which required residents to adhere to a nearly eight-week mandatory water restriction schedule. The rate change will help the city take the proper steps to mitigate the chance for future water shortages,” the newsletter states.
Wastewater and sewer rates will increase by one percent in January 2025. According to the city, the money generated by the increase will go into repairing and replacing aging infrastructure and prepare for future development.
According to the city, a small residential customer who uses 500 kwh of electricity and 2000 gallons of water per month will see their bill reduced by about 20 cents from an average of $116.47 to $116.27.
An average residential customer who uses about 1000 kwh and 6000 gallons of water in a month will see a 45 cents decrease from 228.57 to 228.12 while a large residential customer who uses 1500kwh and 12000 gallons of water will see a 13 cents decrease from $374.46 to 375.33.
A recent rates study indicates that the city will experience a two percent population growth and a three percent increase in cost of service. The growth has led the council to approve the construction a major expansion at the water treatment plant in Hillsdale Lake.