The Shelton City Commission approved water and sewer rate increases Monday night. The water rate will increase 10 percent next year while the sewer rate will change 4 percent but not until 2019.
The City Commissioners had three options for water rates: 1) a 4 percent increase next year with further decisions for future years; 2) a 10 percent increase each year for 2018 through 2021 and 3 percent each year in 2022 and 2023; and 3) a 10 percent increase each year next year through 2021 then 6 percent annually in 2022 and 2023. The Commission was initially spit between option 1 and option 3 but unanimously compromised on the middle option (Option 2) after learning the City would not have funds for planned necessary water system improvements with option one which could lead to additional debt.
For the sewer rate, the City Commission had six options including taking no action (which would mean a 5 percent increase each year through 2020) and decreasing rates for next year with increases the following years. In the end, the Commission voted 2 to 1 to freeze sewer rates in 2018, and then institute a 4 percent annual increase for 2019 through 2023 (Option 6).
Mayor Gary Cronce voted against the motion as he wanted to see rates decrease, even if they were only for one year.