Beginning in January, customers of Sturgeon Bay Utilities will see a 5% increase in their wastewater rates. The local utility says the impact of the increase on a typical residential customer is estimated to be $1.65 per month. Jim Stawicki, Sturgeon Bay Utilities general manager, says the rate hike reflects the first increase in wastewater rates in 18 years. Stawicki says the utility has managed to hold the line & in some cases reduce costs for a number of years, but it has reached the point where the rate of return is negative. He says the modest increase is needed in order to keep the utility financially stable. Even with the increase, Sturgeon Bay Utility’s average wastewater rates remain lower than sewer rates in two thirds of Wisconsin’s communities. About 4500 rate payers will be affected by the wastewater rate adjustment.