Estevan City Council approved rate increases for the water-sewer utility and the solid waste utility during their meeting on January 29.
Residents will pay an extra 10 per cent on their water and sewer utility rates, said Mayor Roy Ludwig. The increase is needed because the City will have to start paying down the debt for the new water reservoir. They also have some capital projects that have to be completed.
"We have many demands with our water system," said Ludwig.
Even with the additional revenues generated by the utility rate increase, a deficit remains in that department.
"We'll need to have this (rate) increase, moving forward, to help with that situation," said Ludwig.
Additional spending cuts might be needed for the department. Council is currently reviewing capital expenses for the water utility.
The solid waste utility charge will increase from about $12 to $17.64 per dwelling unit for every two months.
"We have been running a deficit in the utility for a while now," said Ludwig. "The cost that we were charging didn't reflect the cost to run the utility. We need to have these increases to more reflect our cost."
Council has yet to establish the mill rate for 2013. Ludwig has stated previously that he would like to see the mill rate increase by one-half point, but in previous years, Council has opted for a full one-mill increase.
Ludwig expects that Council will take another look at this year's budget figures in late February or early March, and that the mill rate will likely be finalized in late March or early April.