Bossier City Sewer rate increase a possibility

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The Bossier City Council is considering a increase in monthly sewer rates.

The council met with Dave Naumann from Burns & McDonnell and Justin Haydell from the Manchac Consulting Group this week to hear recommendations on a proposed plan to fund the city sewage infrastructure.

Based on findings from a two part study, it was recommended that the council approve a $15 per month increase.

The consultants said the program will make the City of Bossier City “proactive in reacting to sewer issues, rather than reactive,” noting the City of Shreveport’s sewage challenges.The increase would be used to fund ongoing maintenance to sewer lines and lift stations.

“No one likes paying more money, but the goal of the increase is to have a sewer system that pays for itself,” Tim Larkin, councilman at large, said.

The proposed rate hike would increase the residential sewer service charge from $16.65 to $31.65 per month, and the commercial sewer service charge from $42.58 to $80.97 per month.

Bossier residents saw an $8 across the board increase in 2010. Jeff Anderson, Director of Public Utilities, said crews try to keep a steady schedule of repairing lines and updating lift stations every year.

However, Anderson said it’s past time to step up with more preventative maintenance procedures.

“Right now we are more reactive than proactive to fixing the sewage system,” Anderson said. “The pipes are getting older and we could potentially see collapsed lines and cave ins if the issue is not addressed.”

If the increase is approved, Bossier City residents will see a total increase of $23 to their monthly bill, including the $8 increase for solid waste collections effective Dec. 2.

A vote was not made on the sewer rate increase at Tuesday’s meeting. If the increase is approved at a future meeting, the increase would take effect in January 2014.