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City is planning to raise water rates

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HARTINGTON — City Council members all agreed Monday there is a need to increase water rates, but could not agree how much those rates should be raised.

Mayor Mark Becker said the rate has to go up.

“We’ve been discussing this for quite awhile. Currently, we are at the bottom range of what other communities are charging for these services,” he said. “We want to move our rates so they are more of an average rate rather than at the bottom to better cover our costs.”

Becker said the city has no rainy day fund right now in case a well breaks down or major work needs to be done at the water treatment plant. Raising the rates will allow the city to begin to build that fund, he said.

Councilman Roman Sudbeck agreed.

“We’ve got to put some money aside for a rainy day,” he said.

Councilman Brad Peitz agreed the rate needs to go up, but he doesn’t want to see a drastic increase.

“It needs to go up, but it can’t be a huge jump,” he said.”I think it should go up more gradually.”

After a 20-minute discussion, the Council decided they needed to get more information and talk further about rate increases before raising the rates.

The Council then set Oct. 23, at 7p.m., for a special meeting to hash out ideas for a raise in the rates.