The Oviedo City Council is expected to consider a 5.3% increase in water, sewer and reclaimed water rates for residents during its Jan. 18 meeting.
The rate is typically automatically adjusted based on inflation and does not need approval from City Council unless it goes above 5%.
During Monday night’s work session, the city’s finance director, Jerry Boop, said that this is the first time the rate increase has been higher than 3%. Boop said the city has “more than likely been undercharging” for water because the city has not done a rate study since 2012. City policy calls for such a study to be done every five years.
“It’s time [to do the study]. The city is not the same as it was in 2012,” Boop said.
He told the Council he is unsure when a study could be performed because of understaffing in the finance department.
“We are committed to doing it,” he said, but added, “we are at our apex of what we can possibly accomplish in the finance department.”
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The proposed rate is higher than usual because of recent spikes in costs. Boop told the Council that staff is “running into things this year that we have never seen before,” including a 60 percent hike in chemical costs. According to documents prepared by the city, cost increases are a “direct result of labor shortages, increased costs of raw materials and supply chain issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The proposed base rate charges are as follows and do not include usage fees, which vary from household to household.
- The current rate: $13.17
- With the proposed increase: $13.87
- The current rate: $27.20
- With the proposed increase: $28.65
Reclaimed water rates
- The current rate: $12.07
- With the proposed increase: $12.70
For more details on the proposed rates, check out the City Council Jan. 18 agenda.