Water and wastewater rates in the City and Borough of Juneau will increase 2% starting July 1. (Clarise Larson/ Juneau Empire File)

Water and wastewater rates in the City and Borough of Juneau will increase 2% starting July 1. (Clarise Larson/ Juneau Empire File)

Water, wastewater rates to increase starting July 1

The 2% increase is to match inflationary costs, city says.

Water and wastewater rates in the City and Borough of Juneau will soon be increasing.

On Tuesday the CBJ utilities office announced that beginning July 1 the water and sewer utilities rates will increase by 2%, as outlined in an ordinance passed by the Assembly in 2019. The rates will increase an additional 2% in July 2024.

The city cited inflationary costs as the reason for the increases. Revenue generated from the increase will go toward operating and maintaining major water and wastewater infrastructure systems, along with other projects related to the city’s water and sewer utilities.

For perspective, flat residential water and sewer customers in Juneau will see their base rate per month for water increase from $39.14 to $39.92 — a 78-cent increase. The change in rate per month for wastewater would be from $101.96 to $104 — a $2.04 increase.

According to Katie Koester, the director of CBJ’s Engineering and Public Works Department, the city’s wastewater treatment facility is aging and needs “a lot of love” to keep it up to standards.

She said the funding from the increase will go toward the long list of capital improvement

projects for the facility and the “endless” list of maintenance it needs.

She said though the 2% increase was passed by the Assembly in 2019, inflation already rapidly outpaced it.

“The reality is 2% is not keeping up with inflation or the maintenance needs at the plan,” she said. “That conversation is going to happen in the coming years.”

In the past, voters have approved funding for CBJ utilities as part of a temporary 1% sales tax. However, the funding was not included in the most recent election and will have to wait until the five-year cycle of the tax and the rates expire.

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