ST. JOSEPH, Mo.
For the first time in several years, it was good news coming from St. Joseph leaders in regards to sewer rates.
During a public hearing Monday night at St. Joseph's city council meeting, it was revealed that there would be no increase in sewer rates for the next fiscal year.
This comes after several years in a row of double digit increase. For most, their monthly sewer bills are now considerably higher than their monthly water bills.
Much of the blame for the steep increases in years past has been given to the EPA and federally-mandated sewer work in the area like the Blacksnake Creek project.
"I think it's the timing of the projects and we are at a point right now where we can say zero increase and still meet all the bonding requirements that go with it," said Mayor Bill McMurray. "Next year we might have to see a small increase, but we're going to try very hard not to."
In previous years, the city had scheduled a council work session to go through the increases. This year, city manager Bruce Woody said a sewer work session would be held to show council members exactly how sewer rates are set. Five of the eight council members along with mayor Bill McMurray are new to city leadership positions.