Tulsa City Council Looking At Hikes In Water, Sewer Rates

Thursday, June 14th 2012, 7:55 am
By: News On 6

The cost of water and sewer service in the city of Tulsa could be going up and up.

The Tulsa City Council is looking at the city's proposed 2013 budget and they are discussing an increase in water and sewer rates.

"No one likes to be in this position. It is very similar to what we see on the federal level, politicians making decisions where they kick the can down the road only so long and then somebody has to step up and clean up the mess and that's what we are in the position of doing right now," says Tulsa City Council Chairman G.T. Bynum.

Bynum says the City of Tulsa says previous city councils did not raise rates when it was recommended by the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority and now the council needs to okay several hikes over the next couple of years.

He says Tulsa has gone into debt trying to maintain the current system because Tulsans-historically- haven't paid what it costs the city to provide those services.

"Now, we have had rate increases now for the last three or four years as part of this program to try and catch up and get back into a position where we are not charging anything more than the cost of delivering the service that people expect. But that is going to take a number of years to catch back up to," says G.T. Bynum.

The proposal is to increase water rates by 7% for 2013-2015 and 4% for 2016 and 3% for 2017 and sewer rates by 9% for 2013-2015 and then 8% for 2016 and 2017.