ODEQ Order Triggers Multi-year Utility Rate Hike

June 4, 2013 –  Effective July 1, 2012, a pending order by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), requiring the City of Bixby to expand and modernize its sanitary sewer treatment facilities to accommodate the community’s burgeoning population, triggered a multi-year, phased-in sewer rate hike for City of Bixby utility customers.  The second year of the scheduled successive annual sewer rate hikes will take effect this coming July 1, 2013, and will first appear on utility bills mailed to customers at the end of July. A notice of the impending increase was included in the memo section of bills mailed to customers at the end of May, 2013.

The 2012 series of increases represented the first such increases in Bixby’s sewer rates in 14 years, after not have been changed since March, 1998. The process will gradually bring our community’s sewer rates into line with rates which utility customers in area cities with modern sanitary sewer treatment facilities have been paying for many years.

“The treatment processes employed by the City of Bixby for decades and based on a small service population can no longer support the City’s demands given our growth over the last 15 years,” City Manager Doug Enevoldsen noted. “Our population having recently eclipsed 23,000 people, Bixby has been one of the fastest growing cities in the state this past decade, and we only see ourselves continuing to grow in the coming years. Additional families are choosing to live in Bixby each week and placing additional demands on our utility infrastructure. So it only logical that we must periodically re-invest in our utility systems to keep pace with this demand, and modify rates to finance the capital investment and associated increases in operating costs.  And in light of the ODEQ order, we simply have no choice but to act at this time,” he continued.

Sanitary Sewer Rates

For the period 07-01-12 through 06-30-13, the City of Bixby’s sanitary sewer service residential base rate is $6.75 for the first 1,000 gallons of water usage per month and $1.75 per thousand gallons after the first 1,000 gallons.  The new rate structure, effective 07-01-13 through 06-30-14, will be $7.75 for the residential base rate with $2.85 for each 1,000 gallons thereafter. The maximum monthly residential charge, $20.00 for the period 07-01-12 through 06-30-13, will become $30.00 effective July 1, 2013. These rates will gradually be modified upward in each of the following three years.

What will the July 1, 2013 rate hikes mean for my monthly sewer bill?

Bixby sewer customers consuming on average 2,000 gallons of water per month will see their sewer bills rise by $2.10 per month, or 7 cents per day. Customers consuming on average 5,000 gallons of water per month would see their sewer bills rise by $5.40 per month, or 17 cents per day. Customers consuming on average 10,000 gallons of water per month would see their sewer bills rise by $10.00 per month, or 32 cents per day.

On average, 11% of Bixby water customers use 2,000 gallons per month or less; 27% use between 2,000 and 5,000 gallons per month; 31% use between 5,000 and 10,000 gallons per month, and; 31% use more than 10,000 gallons per month.

Water Rates

Effective October 1, 2013, the City of Bixby’s supplier of treated water, the City of Tulsa, will increase its sales price for treated water by 7%, with said increase being passed onto Bixby water customers in their monthly utility bills. More information on Bixby’s sewer and water rates can be found further below.

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