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Posted: October 04, 2017

Water, sewer rates to increase in Broken Arrow

Staff

By Skyler Cooper

As part of a multi-year, utility infrastructure reinvestment plan approved by the City Council last year, the City of Broken Arrow will implement a second rate increase for water, sewer and stormwater services. A similar rate increase was approved in December 2016.

 Beginning with bills received in November 2017, a typical residential customer in the city limits that uses 7,000 gallons of water per month will see their water bill increase about $1.68 and their sewer bill increase about $1.05. The stormwater fee will increase by $0.52. The street light fee increases $1.00 to $1.50. These changes will make the bill for a typical household using 7,000 gallons increase about $3.75 per month.

 “The City Council and City staff are very conscious of any increase in the cost of service and are committed to maintaining the most cost-effective and reliable utility services available in the metro area,” said City Manager Michael Spurgeon.

 The rate increases are necessary to continue providing utility services in Broken Arrow and pay both operational costs and debt service payments on $90 million worth of capital projects for the utility infrastructure. The increased street light fee will also fund two new street signal technician positions to help maintain the City’s traffic lights.

 The City of Broken Arrow operates 83 signalized intersections, 18 signalized school zones and 55 civil defense and outdoor storm warning sirens. In addition, Broken Arrow has approximately 5,000 streetlights, 1,750 of which are City owned.

 Last year, the City hired the engineering consultant firm of Black and Veatch, which specializes in helping municipalities analyze costs for services delivered and establish appropriate utility rates. Black and Veatch, working with staff, determined what Broken Arrow’s water, sewer and stormwater fees should be in order to pay for the necessary utility systems improvements, operational expenses, and additional staffing needs to maintain the systems.

 “These utility rate increases are required so that the City can continue to improve our water, sewer and stormwater systems to handle the explosive growth Broken Arrow has experienced over the past 30 years,” Spurgeon said. “Major capital investments are needed to make our utility systems reliable and efficient, and to ensure we can accommodate future growth anticipated in the next 10-15 years. We’ve made tremendous progress so far, such as beginning improvements at our Lynn Lane Wastewater Treatment Plant. These types of improvements are vital if we are to continue to provide high quality utility services to both current and future customers and position ourselves to accommodate continued economic growth in Broken Arrow.”


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