A new proposal to increase water and sewer rates in the City of Decorah has won the first of three necessary approvals.
Under the plan, water rates would go up 20 percent and sewer rates would increase 12 percent. City officials say the rate increases are necessary because the water fund is in the red, while the sewer fund is in the black, but needs more money to pay for future improvements and for any emergency repairs.
City council member Randy Schissel called the one-time increase in water and sewer rates "short sighted" and said a study should be done of water and sewer revenues--after the water fund gets out of the red and can afford to hire a consultant. Other city council members argued for having such a study done in the near future--but no motion was made to do so at this point.
Monday night's recommendation still needs approvals at the next two city council meetings before going into effect.