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Mabton eyes water rate increase

City Council to review proposal

— The City Council will consider raising monthly water rates by $3 when it meets tonight.

The increase from $51.35 to $54.35 is part of the overall plan to raise rates so the city can meet debt obligations for water system improvements.

“We have to get to $57 within the next year or two to make sure we cover our loans,” Mayor Mario Martinez said.

The council has raised rates twice in some recent years, but that won’t likely be the case in 2017.

“I think this will be the only one this year,” he said.

Improvements have ranged from infrastructure upgrades to obtaining more water rights.

“It’s nice to be finally at the end of it,” Martinez said. “We’ll look at revenues and next year there might be another $2 or $3 increase. Hopefully, the numbers will be better and we might not have to increase the rates next year.”

Water rate increases, could have even been more if not for a $2.9 million grant the city received in 2015 from the federal Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.

That grant likely saved residents an additional $12 in monthly water rate hikes, officials said at the time.

The council meets for a 6 p.m. work session today, followed by the 7 p.m. regular meeting. Both are in City Hall, 305 Main St.

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