For the first time in five years, water in and around Havre may soon cost a little more.
Havre City Council agreed at their meeting Tuesday night to hold a public hearing at 6:30 p. m. before their March 4 meeting.
The hearing follows a Water & Sewer Committee meeting Jan. 14, where the committee discussed how an increase in water rates would be necessary to solve the city’s three-year bonding compliance issues.
Basically, in order to receive the funds to build the water plant, the city agreed to always take in from water users 25 percent more money than they were paying out to pay off the project’s debt.
For the past three years, auditors have found that the city has not been making as much money as it needs to, after increases in the costs of chemicals and other inflation.
Now the city needs to charge water customers more to make enough money to satisfy their legal requirement.
The committee discussed both how to do that this time, and how to make more regular and gradual changes in the future.
According to committee votes, in-town hookup fees could increase by two dollars while the price of 1,000 gallons of water would increase by four cents.
Out-of-town customers might pay four dollars more for a water hookup and eight more cents per 1,000 gallons.
These rate changes will be discussed with the public March 4 at 6:30 p. m. and then by the council at their regular 7 p. m. meeting.