The Gothenburg City Council approved a proposed ordinance to set the city’s utility rates at the council’s Nov. 3 meeting - and the good news is, rates are staying the same in all areas but one.
Each year the council reviews and sets the electric, water, sewer and solid waste rates and fees for those who reside within the city limits. City Administrator Gary Greer works diligently to compare rates of other municipalities similar in size to Gothenburg and come up with rate recommendations to present to the council.
While most of our rates are in alignment with other area communities, Greer noted that residents of Gothenburg are extremely fortunate when it comes to our water rates. This city is one of few that do not use a meter system to determine rates, but rather charge just a flat fee to residential customers. Those fees range from the minimum of $32.64 per month to $46.55 per month - and while those rates are slightly higher than last year’s, they are still considerably lower than in most communities.
“These rates are needed to pay the debt on the 2020 water improvement projects that were approved last year, and bonds approved early this year and sold last month,” Greer said in explaining the rationale behind the increase in the water rates.
All other utility rates will remain the same: residential sewer rates are set at a minimum of $33.35 per month, while the trash pickup fee is $16.30 per month for one 96-gallon roll out or joint dumpster use, and $22.30 for two 96-gallon roll outs. Electrical rates are a little more complicated, as they are based on customer’s usage. Each residential customer pays a monthly fee of $12, plus a little over .08 cents per kilowatt hour. The average residential electricity rate in Nebraska is 10.04¢/kWh.
The council also approved a contract for managing Lafayette Park, and it was agreed that James and Karan Smith will remain as park managers. As part of the agreement the Smith’s are provided a home at the park which includes all utilities and maintenance. In exchange the Smith’s are responsible for daily cleaning of the restrooms and upkeep of the grounds as well as checking in campers. The Smith’s agree to pay the City $150 per month, for the difference between the agreed upon values of the living quarters and utilities versus the management services. The agreement is in effect from Nov. 1, 2020, to Oct. 31, 2021.