Planned utility rate increases in Sioux Falls met with resistance
Councilors give preliminary blessing to four-year hike schedule
A series of utility rate hikes for Sioux Falls residents and businesses proposed by Mayor Paul TenHaken’s administration inched forward this week.
Sioux Falls City Councilors were united Tuesday night in their votes to advance nine separate measures to a second hearing to be held later this month. The measures call for rate adjustments to water, sewer and storm drainage fees and other Public Works Department services.
The proposal calls for four consecutive years of increases ranging from 3 to 6 percent, hikes city officials say are necessary to keep up with inflation, city growth and future demands. And while none of the seven councilors in attendance at Tuesday night’s meeting cast a single vote of dissent, some said they were not yet convinced that the level of increases being proposed is necessary.
“One thing that everyone in the room I hope would agree on is these are vital services. But the only question is what’s the best, most fair and intelligent way to pay for them,” Councilor David Barranco said, adding that he’s still undecided on how he’ll vote when the proposal is again considered on June 20. “During that time, I’m going to do more due diligence, and I hope to meet with the experts and talk to our bosses — the taxpayers — and get a good education on if this is the right idea.”
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