In 2009, Sturgeon Bay Utilities raised the cost of water usage by 31%, an increase that caught many rate-payers by surprise. In an effort to keep up with the cost of doing business, but keep the hike manageable, the utility is seeking permission to increase water revenues by $300,386. If approved by the PSC, the estimated overall rate increase would be 16% over the water utility’s present revenues. The average residential customer using 3000 gallons of water per month would see their bill increase from $16.50 to $17.90 or 8%. When the public fire protection charge is included, the total monthly water bill for an average residential customer would increase by just over $3 per month.
Sturgeon Bay Utilities General Manager Jim Stawicki told the city council Tuesday evening that yearly projects, such as maintenance to city wells, can cost as much as $100,000 to complete. Stawicki said much is made of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, such as roads & bridges, but there’s infrastructure under the ground that needs to be maintained, repaired or replaced. He also pointed out that water towers in the city will have to be attended to in the future. Stawicki said, if approved, the water rate increase could begin appearing on utility bills in September.