With the city of Pocatello utilities going up as early as the beginning of August, it leaves some wondering why. But it all starts at the Pocatello Water Pollution Control.
Chief Financial Officer for the City of Pocatello, David Swindell says it's normal for the city to adjust utility rates every year because of inflation, but the big issue is the significant increase in sewer rates that currently are averaging $22.00 dollars a month and now going up to $28.00 dollars. He says the six dollar increases is necessary to provide additional revenue to the sewer department.
"We have a new EPA permit that is going to require us to take more phosphorus out of our effluent, it's going to require a $20 million dollar construction project,” says David Swindell, Chief Financial Officer for City of Pocatello.
We spoke to people who will be impacted by the increase and they said that while they may not like the jump in utility costs, they realize why it's necessary.
"In a way it's kind of unfair, but in another way, I understand that if they are getting charged, everything rolls downhill unfortunately and if the money is going to go for a good cause than I am actually going to be okay with a raise,” says Pocatello resident, Scott Southern.
"I don't like the idea, but I guess they are struck between a rock and a hard spot. I mean that's where it is. Nobody likes their utility rates to go up. We are already paying a lot for water in Pocatello,” added Pocatello resident, Toni Evans.
"I think citizens should be aware of what an important service our utilities provide. For the most part they are so efficient and so effective, we tend to take them for granted and especially in sewer. You flush it and it goes away. Where does it go? It goes to the waste water treatment plant. It's treated there to go into our rivers and we do a very good job of that,” concluded Swindell.
Water and Sanitation will also have a slight increase in rates beginning October 1st.