The City Council approved two rate increases on April 6th: 5% for water and 4% for sewer. The increase, which will take effect immediately, accounts for inflation and an increase in the price of lime. The proposed rate increases are less than the 7% Consumer Price Index annual inflation rate over the last 12 months.
Why was the increase needed?
The De Soto water and sewer funds are not supported by property taxes. Instead, they are an enterprise fund, which operates more like a business; when the cost of supplies increase, rates are impacted.
Three primary triggers caused the rate increase:
The City paid $100,000 more for lime last year than originally projected. The quality of the lime the City had been receiving diminished significantly, causing clogging. The subsequent supplier delivered a higher quality lime at a significant price increase.
Personnel costs increased more than projected. The City incurred significant overtime costs because of diminished well capacities, causing the City to run the treatment plant for longer shifts.
The cost of the City’s utilities rose significantly last year.
How much will the average bill increase?
The increase will depend on the household’s usage. However:
The average monthly water cost for a household in De Soto is projected to increase from $66.25 to $69.59.
The average monthly sewer cost for a household in De Soto is projected to increase from $32.07 to $36.01.
Is this increase linked to new development in the City?
No. The cost increases are independent of any development happening in De Soto. In addition, the water and sewage rate increases are less than current inflation rates, which have hovered around 7%.
Where can I go for utility assistance?
If you need help paying your utility bill, contact these agencies about payment assistance:
Catholic Charities – 913.782.4077
Johnson County Assistance – 913.715.6653
El Centro – 913.677.0100
Salvation Army – 913.782.3640
Johnson County Aging & Human Services offer food pantry, utility assistance, and Kansas City Medicine Cabinet vouchers to income eligible residents. Contact (913) 715-6653 or visit Johnson County Aging & Human Services for further assistance.