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Kansas City Now Boasts Highest Water Rates In Metro

Flickr user Clearly Ambiguous
Creative Commons

As of May 1, 2012, Kansas City, Mo. residents can expect higher rates on water usage and wastewater (sanitary sewer) services. In March, the Kansas City Council approved a new budget which included a 17% increase for sewers and a 12% increase for water. This increase takes into account the anticipated costs of the $2.5 billion federally mandated plan requiring the city to replace its sewer system within the next 25 years.

Kansas City residents will notice the rate hike. According to this city press release:

"On average, most residential households will experience an increase in their combined (water, wastewater and stormwater) bill of approximately $9 a month, or about 14 percent. The increase in rates was approved by the City Council to reflect rising costs, expanded investment in new facilities, the replacement of aging infrastructure and compliance with federal government mandates for upgrades to sewer systems."  

Kansas City StarcolumnistYael T. Abouhalkah writes that, with this price increase, water "in Kansas City will cost more than it does in Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Olathe, Independence, Gladstone, Liberty and for customers of Johnson County’s sprawling WaterOne utility."

A few other increases in the Kansas City metropolitan area:

  • April 1, 2012: Sewer and water rates go up for Lee's Summit, Mo. Residents using 5,000 gallons of water a month see an increase of $2.91 a month.
  • 2011: Independence, Mo. increased wastewater rates by 4.5% annually until 2015. This marks an increase in 2011-12 of $9.60 to $10.60 a month for a base rate increase, plus an additional $3 a month for the sanitary sewer rate.
  • 2011: Olathe, Kan. increased rates by 6% for water and 7.4% for wastewater services. With the increase, the average homeowner pays about $3.30 more a month.
  • 2010: Blue Springs, Mo. raised rates by 4.5% (3% for water and 1.5% for sewer annually through October 1, 2013). The average homeowner saw an increase of 28 cents to $3.39 a month based on water usage.
Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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