City water rates to rise in 2024

water faucet

Meeting last week, the Elgin City Council is moving forward with a plan to get the water budget out of the ‘red’ and back to ‘black.’

All four members of the council (Mike Dvorak, Jim Kittelson, Leigh Kluthe and Craig Niewohner) approved an increase to the city’s water rates which would go into effect January 1, 2024.

According to City Clerk Kristin Childers, the last time the water rate was increased was in 2012. For the last three years, she said the budget has been in the red.

The current rate is $20 per month plus $1.75 per 1,000 gallons of water used.  ($60 per quarter plus $1.75 per 1,000 gallons used)

The new rate will be $25 per month plus $2.25 per 1,000 gallons of water used. ($75 per quarter plus $2.25 per 1,000 gallons used).

Recently, a water study was conducted by the Nebraska Rural Water Association (NRWA) offering suggestions to city hall how to correct the shortfall.

In a comparison of rates among similar communities across the state, the report showed that Elgin is $3 below average on rates charged to residents. “It’s just something we’re going to have to do,” Mayor Mike Schmitt said about the pending rate increase.

At the same time the water study was being done, the NRWA also conducted a sewer rate study. According to the report, Childers said the amount being collected now is sufficient. “We are meeting our expenses,” she said, adding no increase is being suggested at this time.