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Edina Water, Sewer, Trash Rate Increases Effective Immediately

Edina Water, Sewer, Trash Rate Increases Effective

By Echo Menges

The Edina City Council held the final public hearing to
answer questions and hear concerns about the proposed water, sewer and trash
rate increases at City Hall on Monday, February 13, 2012. Over a dozen
community members attended the hearing. Many voiced their concerns in support
or opposition of the rate hikes.

After the public hearing, during the council’s regularly
scheduled meeting, the City Council passed the ordinance. All council members
were in support of raising the fees, but two voted against the ordinance, Craig
Miller and Renee Edwards. Linda Ritchie, Sid Leckbee, Tom Morgret and Gordon
Edwards’ votes were enough to put the ordinance through.

Both Miller and Edwards stated they are in favor of
increasing city water, sewer and trash rates, but voted against the ordinance
because they didn’t agree with the rates out-of-town trash customers were being
charged in the new ordinance. Out-of-town trash customers are asked to pay the
same amount in-town customers pay. Both council members thought out-of-town
customers should have to pay more.

Now that the ordinance has passed Edina water, sewer and
trash customers are already being charged higher fees. The first bills to
reflect the increases will be issued for the month of February at the beginning
of March. According to City Collector, Melissa Yoakum, customers using the
least amount of water and being charged the minimum for city services, about
$40 a month, will see their bill increase to about $50 a month. Exact amounts
won’t be known until the first bills are issued.

Local renters could be hit hard by the increase if they fall
behind enough to have their service disconnected. The new ordinance includes
higher deposit fees for property owners and renters. The required deposit for a
property owner went from $10 to $20. The deposit for renters jumped from $100
to $200 to have water turned on.

Customers who already have city service won’t have to pay
the difference unless their accounts become delinquent. Should their water
service be disconnected for failure to pay they will have to pay the difference
in the deposit, the past due bill and a $50 reconnection fee. Customers paying
the lowest amount will have to shell out over $200 to have service reconnected.

The new ordinance, in its entirety, is about four pages
long. Copies can be obtained at the Edina City Hall.