Harlan Municipal Utility customers will see slight increases in water and gas rates starting in July. In a regular board meeting last Thursday, the HMU board of trustees approved the rate increases. The water rates will increase 8% and Chief Executive Officer of HMU Darrell Wenzel says this increase is a follow up to the rate increase last year for the water treatment plant as they are needing to hit certain revenue targets to pay for the 7 million dollar plant. A family of 2 will see about a $1.50 increase on the average while a larger family will be closer to the $2.50 range.
As far as the gas rate increase, he says HMU saw a negative margin of about $25,000 last year and through January 2013 the increase is around $47,000. Wenzel says it has been twelve years since the last gas increase and back then it was a 65 percent increase. The board wanted a much smaller increase this time around to get the margins back to the positive side.
For a couple residential examples, they are looking at a 91 cent increase, 2.5%. If you have a bigger family, you are looking at a $1.40. But it all depends on how much gas you use. The Harlan Municipal Utilities water and gas rate increase will take effect on July 1st, 2013.
In other news, Wenzel said the Water Treatment Plant is about 89% completed in a monetary stand point and customers could see the plant itself being fired up in mid-July however the plant will not go online until all the tests are complete. Wenzel said the plant should be pumping water into the wells by fall.