Evart City Council Raises Water Rates

The Evart City Council approved a 3 percent increase to their water rate.

It will impact everyone who’s hooked up to the Evart’s water system.

And it’s not the first time they’ve been asked to pay more.

The latest 3 percent increase to Evart’s water rate takes it from $2.30 to $2.37 per thousand gallons.

Teasers Hair Studio is managing, but the owner says area business will suffer if there’s more increases.

“If it keeps going up and up you’ll chase everybody out of town. I just think a lot of businesses will leave if you continue to raise everything,” says Teasers Hair Studio owner Pam Custer.

In 2012 Evart set the rate to a $1.09 from charging people a flat rate of $85 quarterly for water, sewer and trash.

In 2014 the rate jumped to $2.30 and the city manager says even with this new increase, their bills are still lower than some other areas.

“They’re average bill is around $71 compared to other communities that are a lot higher than we are,” says Evart City Manager Zackary Szakacs.

One of the reasons the city says they need to raise the rates is to start an emergency fund and because of a couple of big financial hits the last couple of years, they don’t have one

Szakacs say big companies moving out of the area created a $1 million loss in water revenue. This 3 percent increase will make up $16,000 annually.

He expects over time the rate will have to go up more, but for now they’re also finding other areas to cut.

“Just recently for example we had a city employee leave. We’re not going to go hire someone full time instead we’ll use part time and seasonal people to help offset that difference,” says Szakacs.