Local News

Wastewater hike to “catch up” local rates

Sitkans will be paying higher wastewater rates starting next month.

The Sitka assembly last night (11-6-12) unanimously approved hikes in the rates for both unmetered households and large commercial users.

Currently, the domestic rate is $38.43 per month. That will go up about $3 to $42.19.
The rate hikes are part of five-year master plan adopted by the assembly in 2011 to spread the pain of rate hikes over several years, in order to pay for needed replacement of sewer infrastructure.

Assembly member Phyllis Hackett said she tries to reassure concerned citizens that the money is not going to waste.

“None of us up here, or in staff, want to raise prices. There is no fluff going on anywhere. We are really looking at the basics that need to be done to maintain a good healthy system.”

Assembly member Matt Hunter put it a little bit differently. He said Sitkans are making up for years with no increases whatsoever.

“This increase right now is playing catch-up. It’s like a retirement account: If you haven’t been paying in a tiny bit over the years you need to pay in a lot, and then you can pay in a tiny bit after that, because you’ve caught up. So we’re catching up. It will be painful in the short term, and we won’t see drastic increases after that, because it will automatically go with inflation, which it hasn’t been for however many years.”

The assembly approved the increase on a vote of 6-0, with Thor Christianson absent. It will go into effect in December.

This is the second of five annual increases planned through 2016.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Not my town! ‘Grizzly Trade’ ambles through places, personalities of SE

Grizzly_Trade_250 It’s got a Vietnam vet with a big heart and anger management problems, a small-town newspaper reporter, and a hippie radio station. Throw in some meth-fuelled wildlife crime and a few cruise ships and you have the makings of an adventure mystery set in Southeast Alaska. more

Mallott: Alaskans have “clear choice”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott greets supporter Eric Jordan in Sitka on primary day, August 19, 2014. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)
News broke over the weekend that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott may be combining his campaign with that of Independent Bill Walker. In Sitka recently, Mallott argued the key issue in November is whether Alaskans' voices will be heard in state government, and said Walker remains, on social issues, a "conservative Republican." more