Councilors to vote on water, sewer rate increases

The Ashland City Council will decide on Tuesday whether to raise water rates by 10 percent and sewer rates by 6 percent.

The council will hold a public hearing about the proposed rate increases during a meeting that begins at 7 p.m. in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

The rate increases would cost the average family living in a house an extra $4.29 each month, the Ashland Finance Department estimated.

If approved, the water rate increase would go into effect on May 1 and the sewer rate increase would take effect on June 1.

Ashlanders already pay more for water and sewer services than residents of other Rogue Valley communities.

The average Ashland household pays $47.31 per month in water and sewer bills, compared to average household payments of $42.55 in Talent and $25.77 in Medford.

In 2010, cool weather caused residents to use less water, resulting in less money for the city of Ashland than expected.

The city raised water rates by 8 percent and sewer rates by 9 percent last fiscal year.

Both the water and sewer systems face state and federal regulatory mandates, increasing costs for treatment supplies, maintenance and upgrade costs for aging infrastructure and requirements to make debt payments for past upgrades, according to the Ashland Finance Department.

In other business Tuesday night, the council will consider whether to approve a 3.72-acre annexation on Clover Lane that would pave the way for Caldera Brewing Company to build a 28,000-square-foot manufacturing, warehouse, storage and administrative office building with a tasting room.

The council will also consider whether to renew the Ashland Gun Club's lease of city property, and whether to give final approval to new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps covering Ashland.

Earlier this month, the council took the first step in a two-part process to approve the maps.

For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

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