During a landlord/tenant meeting earlier this year, conducted sans tenants City Manager/City Attorney Ernie Crofoot said, the landlords asked why water and sewer bills for rentals were higher than the rates for owner-occupied units. They didn’t get the answer they expected.
“The mayor and I were surprised when it came up,” Crofoot said. “Yes, it was true in the sense owner-occupied properties paid a lower rate. Owners got more usage from a smaller base amount.”
There are a number of factors contained within that minimum base charge, Crofoot said, but at the end of the day, owners and renters were paying different rates for similar services.
The fix, Crofoot said, wasn’t to lower the bills of the renters but to raise the rates on the owners to the tune of about $10 per month starting when next year’s budget goes into effect on July 1. The budget passed first reading during Monday night’s regular meeting of the City Council, but won’t be formally adopted until the next meeting on June 20.