Madison City residents could see increases in their utility bills in the coming year.  Madison City Commissioners on Monday approved first reading of ordinances establishing the rates and charges for water, electricity, and wastewater for city utility consumers for 2020. 

For water, City Finance Officer Jennifer Eimers told commissioners that the monthly base rates for several different meter sizes will increase by different amounts, according to the ordinance, and the extra meter charge will increase by one-dollar.  Overall, Eimers said the rates are expected to generate more than one-point-eight-million dollars in water revenue for the city in 2020. Utilities Commissioner Jeremiah Corbin said that several factors are taken into consideration, including affordability, when determining the city’s water rates.

When asked during Monday’s meeting, Corbin listed off some of what the money generated by the water rates will be used for.  

Commissioner Kelly Johnson also spoke in support of the water rate increases.

Commissioner Bob Thill said with the recent flooding in the city, he thinks it is a bad time to be making the rate increases. 

Commissioners voted 3-to-2 to approve first reading of the ordinance for water rates, with Commissioner Thill and Mayor Marshall Dennert voting against it.  The vote was the same Monday also for the city’s ordinances for electric and wastewater user rates.  

Eimers told commissioners that electric rates will increase one-percent next year on all base rates and unit charges, bringing in an estimated total revenue of around nine-point-six-million dollars for 2020.  She said that wastewater user charges for fixed residential and commercial/industrial consumers will each increase also for next year, according to the ordinance, for a revenue generated estimate of more than one-point-seven-million dollars for the city for next year.  

Commissioner Corbin estimates that on average, a city consumer’s utility bill will increase approximately six dollars a month in 2020.  

Increases are also proposed for users of the city’s restricted use site.  Madison City Commissioners unanimously approved first reading of that ordinance during Monday’s meeting.  Second reading on all four of the city’s rate ordinances will be held in two weeks.