Topeka City Council Revisits Rate Hikes

By: Suzie Gilbert Email
By: Suzie Gilbert Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Topeka City Council members talked utility rate hike proposals at their meeting Tuesday night (5/1). The discussion was an effort to guide city staffers on a plan that could affect all Topeka residents.

The governing body discussed two utility rate hike proposals. Interim City Manager Dan Stanley urged Council members to raise rates.

Both proposals included 3-percent water rate hikes for residential users annually, after the 1,500 gallons used, as well as wastewater rate hikes.

The City Council rejected the same rate increases in February, on a seven to three vote. The new proposals lower the amount stormwater rates would rise.

Stanley said the increases would go toward repairing decaying infrastructure, like storm sewers, and maintaining pump stations.

Stanley said aggressive federal regulations have put Topeka at risk of compliance violations.

Opponents say the city should find another way to fund the infrastructure projects.

City Council members did not recommend a rate hike plan to Stanley, or city staffers, nor did they discuss any other options to foot the bill for the repair projects.

Meanwhile, the search for a permanent City Manager progresses. A first review of applicants will take place next Monday (5/7). A Florida search firm placed an ad last month. The firm will determine the list of finalists. Stanley says he'll leave the post June 1st.


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