The City Council’s Administration and Public Works Committee will continue discussing proposed changes to water and sewer rates at its Sept. 27 meeting. “Evanston’s last water rate modification occurred in July 2006. Although the billing rates were adjusted, the overall effect of the rate adjustment was revenue-neutral to the water fund,” said Utilities Director David Stoneback.

City staff is recommending a ten percent water rate increase, effective Jan. 1. If approved, the proposed ordinance would increase both the minimum-use meter charge and quantity charge by 10 percent. For the 5/8 inch and the 3/4 inch meter sizes (the meter sizes commonly used in single-family homes) the minimum-use meter charge would increase from $5.40 to $5.94 for the first five units consumed, and the quantity charge would increase from $1.52 per unit to $1.67 per unit for every unit in excess of five units consumed in the bimonthly billing period.

The City says the average single-family home in Evanston consumes 106 billing units a year. A billing unit is 100 cubic feet. or 748 gallons, of water, so the average single-family home consumes approximately 79,300 gallons annually, according to City information.

Based on the current water rate, the average family is paying $147.92 annually for the water portion of the water and sewer/sanitation bill. If the proposed 10 percent water rate increase is approved, the annual water portion of the bill will increase by $14.79, to $162.71.

 City staff also recommends that a reasonable charge be established for tax exempt entities that have high-volume water-usage accounts since these entities do not pay property taxes. City staff’s recommendation would allow maintaining the current sewer rate of $3.94 per bill unit to all taxpaying properties and would establish a two-tiered sewer rate for tax-exempt users of the system, effective Jan. 1. The first 100 units of water used during a given bimonthly billing period by tax exempt properties would continue to be billed at $3.94 per unit. Any water usage in excess of 100 units during a given bimonthly billing period by tax-exempt properties would be billed at $4.53 per unit.