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La Crosse Mayor discusses possible water rate increase

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) –  The city of La Crosse is considering increasing the water rate by July 1 and the first steps to do so occurred Monday.

Mayor Tim Kabat says the last time the city did full raise was in 2010. He says a lot has changed since then.

The Board of Public Works voted to recommend increasing the water rate in a designed structure meaning residents would pay a different amount than business. Residents would see an increase of six cents to $1.11 for the first 800 cubic feet of water. After that, the rate goes to $1.59.

The rate came from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. Kabat says the increased revenue would go directly into the water system’s infrastructure around the city.

“When we get in there and want to repair streets we’re also replacing in some cases very old water lines,” Kabat said. “That wasn’t necessarily anticipated in 2010 when we did the last rate increase.”

Kabat says even with the increase the city would still be one of the lowest in the state.

“This is a very important resource and service that the city provides,” he explained. “We want to make sure that we’re doing what we need to take care of it and make those investments to really make sure we have clean water here in the city.”

The increase still has a number of hoops to jump through before it’s approved. The PSC will give a final recommendation to the city and then the city will have a community weigh in. The PSC will then issue a final order before the common council votes on an increase.

Jeremy Culver

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