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Water rate hikes lowered

August 24, 2011
Meg Alexander - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - Utility customers anticipating yet another 25 percent hike in Fairmont's water rates will see some relief.

This week, the City Council set a water rate increase of 10 percent for 2012, and another 10 percent for 2013.

The action was required by Minnesota's Public Facilities Authority for a loan Fairmont is seeking to pay for its new water treatment plant.

"[They] wanted concrete proof we are going to raise our rates," said City Administrator Jim Zarling, noting that everyone is proceeding more cautiously after the U.S. credit rating dropped. "... They have their own bond rating they have to protect."

The water plant is expected to cost about $31 million, which is why the city has been hiking rates up for several years. After the final increase in 2013, the average residential customer's water bill will be about $13 more per month than when the city started raising money for the new plant in 2008.

Because of the state government shutdown, work on the facility has been delayed.



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