City electric rates are set to increase by 2 percent each of the next five years, and Hamilton’s stormwater fees will increase by 70 cents per month each year for the next two years, following unanimous votes Wednesday by Hamilton City Council.
The council, in its final scheduled meeting of the year, also approved the city’s 2019 spending plan of $318.5 million, including its $46.06 million general fund — which funds most general government operations and is about $1.1 million less than this year’s budget.
Electric rates will rise by 29 cents per month, or $3.48 per year, starting with bills that go out Feb. 1. They will increase by 2 percent each Feb. 1 after that for the following four years.
While those rate increases were put in place, Jim Logan, Hamilton’s executive director of Infrastructure, who oversees the city’s utilities, said he hopes rates won’t actually climb that high during the five-year period. He hopes the city will avoid those increases, and possibly lower rates from what they are now, through cost-cutting measures.
The stormwater fees, which haven’t increased since they were created in 2001, will increase so the city can take steps to deal with severe flooding that has struck in recent years, particularly on Main Street near Lawn Avenue, and Tabor Lane, where a family in a floating minivan last year had to be taken from the vehicle by a water-rescue team, Logan said.
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