Commission to look at 12 percent sewer rate hike

Livingston city commissioners will vote Tuesday evening to give initial approval to annual utility rate increases, which include a proposed 12 percent increase in sewer fees for city residents.

The proposed sewer rate increase would cost an additional $5.67 per month for residents with an average sewer usage of about 5,000 gallons per month.

This is the final significant sewer rate increase required to pay a $10 million bond over the next 20 years that will be spent on updating the city’s wastewater treatment plant, Livingston Finance Director Jessie Hogg told The Enterprise in April.

Last summer, the sewer rate increased by 11 percent. Next year it should increase only minimally to reflect inflation, Hogg said.

Despite several community member objections to the 11 percent rate increase last summer, commissioners unanimously approved it, saying the new water treatment plant is necessary and the rate increases are needed to fund it.

If approved Tuesday, commissioners will hold a public hearing for the 12 sewer rate increase, as well as all other utility rate increases, at the June 3 commission meeting.

Water and garbage removal fees are proposed to increase by 2 percent this summer. This translates to about 62 cents for the average resident for water and about 34 cents for garbage.

Commissioners will also vote Tuesday night on proposals to reauthorize the street maintenance district, which would cost an extra $1.10 per month for the typical residential customer.

And they will also vote on two resolutions to reauthorize Street Lighting District 20, which will have no financial impact on residents.

In addition to voting on rate increases, commissioners Tuesday evening will:

• Vote on adopting the city’s modifications to the Montana Public Works Standard Specifications.

• Vote on adopting the city’s occupancy and street cut permits.

• Vote on authorizing a contract with Woodwork West for city swimming pool repairs.

• Discuss possible tax abatement for the preservation of Livingston’s historic structures.

• Discuss construction plans for the climbing boulder in Fireman’s Park.

• Discuss updated activity regarding railroad crossing quiet zones.

• Discuss scheduling three budget workshops.

The Tuesday meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the City-County Complex. If the front doors are locked, use the building’s back doors. 

To view the full agenda and accompanying information, go to www.livingstonmontana.org or view a hard copy at the Livingston-Park County Public Library. 

To watch the meeting streaming live on the Internet, go to www.livingstonmontana.org, click on the “Living” tab, then click the “Livingston City Commission” section on the left. Then click on the “Livingston Montana TV” tab on the left.

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Rose Brown may be reached at rbrown@livent.net.