In preparation for approving the 2009 budget the Sunnyside City Council last night, Thursday, by a 3-2 margin approved rate hikes for sewer and water utilities.
The increases have been on the table since council began preliminary budget discussions earlier this fall.
The rate increases call for water to increase by about $1.93 per month for a typical residential user, a 10 percent jump over 2008, and for sewer services to increase by $7.80 per month, a hike of 20 percent.
The rate increases are needed, said City Manager Eric Swansen, to accommodate indebtedness required for wastewater improvements and a new well being drilled near the Monson property.
Besides the rate increases presented last night, council will in the future also have to look at increasing rates for ambulance and garbage services.
Councilman Tom Gehlen said he would have liked to have seen all of the requested rate increases at one time so council could have a better idea of the overall impact to citizens.
Gehlen and Councilwoman Carol Stone voted no on the proposed water and sewer rate increases, while Mayor Pablo Garcia, mayor pro tem Bruce Epps and Councilwoman Theresa Hancock voted for the utility rate hikes.
Council members Jim Restucci and Bill Gant were absent from the meeting.