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Pocatello sees utility rate increases

Pocatello sees utility rate increases

POCATELLO, Idaho - Beginning August 2014, it will cost more for you to shower or flush a toilet in Pocatello.

The most notable of the utility fee increases is for single-family residential sewer service, increasing from $21.83 to $28.20 per month -- an increase of almost 30 percent.

"From the city's perspective, any rate increase is regrettable," said David Swindell, chief financial officer for the city of Pocatello. "It's regrettable to have an increase of this magnitude and it's regrettable to have it implemented relatively soon."

The increase comes because of new Environmental Protection Agency guidelines the city's Water Pollution Control Plant needs to meet for phosphorus discharge. The project will cost more than $21 million.

The city wants to avoid a potential $37,000 daily fine until the upgrades are done, so it is going to take out a loan to be paid back over 20 years.

While this sewer rate increase takes effect on Aug. 1, the water and sanitation rates won't take effect until Oct. 1. Those fee increases are minimal compared to the water pollution control fee increase.

The city said the fee increases are evenly spread out over residential, industrial and commercial property.

"In general, most of the phosphorus in the system is coming from everyday use, from everyday customers," Swindell said. "The impact is spread across all the rate classes fairly evenly."

To see these increases broken down line-by-line, find the changes on the city's website here:

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