Local News

City Council to consider water rate increase options


An ordinance calling for a water rate increase will be back in front of the Ketchikan City Council Thursday, with a few options for the Council to consider.

The ordinance already passed in first reading, but Council members asked the city to look into different formulas that would raise rates more for fish processors, rather than an across-the-board 5-percent rate hike.

Processors use significantly more water than other customers, but pay a lower rate. Some on the Council say that homeowners subsidize those industrial users unfairly.

For tomorrow’s meeting, city officials presented a graph comparing possible rate structures, all resulting in about the same revenue for the city’s water division.

The first is the 5-percent rate hike for everyone, which would increase the monthly residential fee from about $41 to about $43; the second is a 100-percent rate hike for processors only, with no increase for any other customers.

The third is a 50-percent increase for processors, 5 percent for commercial customers, and 1-percent for residents. That would increase the monthly rate for residents by about 40 cents.

The final option is a 25 percent hike for processors; 5 percent for commercial; and 3 percent for residential. That would mean a monthly rate increase for residents of about $1.20.

City Finance Director Bob Newell strongly recommends some kind of rate increase. He writes that the water division continues to operate at a deficit.

Also Thursday, the Council will talk about a proposed analysis of the Southeast Alaska Power Agency

The Council meets at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers, with public comment at the start of the meeting.


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