From Niles Mayor Nick Shelton’s Facebook page:
On Monday, the City Council voted 7-1 in favor of increased utility rates (electric, water, and sewer). A thorough study was conducted by a third party rate analyst to determine the suggested rates.
INFORMATION FROM THE UTILITIES MANAGER AND CITY ADMINISTRATOR REGARDING RATE INCREASES:
What is proposed? Electric, water and sewer rate adjustments for November 2018 billing (October usage). Average increases for city retail customers are: Electric – 2.5%; Water – 5.9%; Sewer – 4.9%.
Who proposes it? The Utilities Manager through the City Administrator, the Utilities Board, and ultimately the City Council.
Why? To offset increased costs, fund capital improvements to our aging infrastructure and to maintain adequate reserves and revenues.
We have aged infrastructure, some of which has been in place for over 100 years. City forefathers did a very good job of installing and maintaining this vital utility equipment and services, as evidenced by much of this infrastructure exceeding its design “life” by decades. We have reduced expenses and our workforce by nearly 30% however, as maintenance and capital improvement need costs continue to increase, we have no alternative except to adjust rates.
We have seen increases in our expenses, including:
• Increased water and sewer main breaks
• Increases in State and Federal mandates
• Failures in some of our older pumps and motorsWhen will it happen? We generally make rate adjustment recommendations in the late summer or early fall – to take effect October 1st (beginning of fiscal year).
We continually examine rates and anticipate adjustments each fiscal year.