Project costs drive Grand Forks utility rate hikes

Grand Forks residents could see utility rates climb on their 2014 city utility bills.

Overall, utility bills would increase an estimated 7.25 percent next year in Mayor Mike Brown’s 2014 budget proposal. That’s about $4.59 more added to the average utility bill of $63.44.

But with big increases come big projects, according to Public Works Director Todd Feland.

The city has several in the pipeline, the most costly of which will be a new $133 million water treatment plant.

Feland said he prefers to begin raising the majority of the money now rather than later to be sure the city can complete the projects.

“We’re trying balance what we need to do and still remain affordable,” he said.

The strategy isn’t sitting well with everyone.

“There is a lot of need for additional infrastructure,” said City Council member Dana Sande. “But I still don’t like the fact the utility rates are going up.”

For more specifics about the projects, continue reading here.

Click the images below to view projected rate increases and costs of some projects not mentioned in the full story.

 

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