According to Golden Heart Utilities, clients have already been paying a part of the increased amount to both water and sewer services before July 15th. Residents have already been paying 4.6% of the 10.5% increase to water, as well as 6% of the 12% increase to sewer that was approved by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.
This is the first rate by these utilities in four years.
As of Monday, water utility costs increased across the city of Fairbanks and neighboring areas.
Golden Heart Utilities filed on May 31st with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to increase their rates for water services by 16.61% and their sewer services by 18.10%. College Utilities Corporation filed on June 3rd for the same increases. The commission is still deciding if the increases are warranted. In the meantime, they approved temporary rate increases that went into effect July 15th.
Water services increased by 10.5% and sewer services increased a 12% for both companies. These rates are temporary and were approved on an interim temporary basis. That means the rates will remain in effect until the commission makes a final decision. It also mean if the commission finds the rate increase to be unwarranted, then both utilities will reimburse the funds they received from the rate increase.
Utility prices will affect those who haul water as well. Businesses like the Watering Hole will be increasing their prices to offset utility rate increases. Owner of the Watering Hole, Matt Want, says the price increases will be coming to both of their Fairbanks locations but he says they will not raise their prices immediately.
"Because of the smoke and the fires and people's increased dependency on water, we've decided that were not going to increase our rates until the fires have been, at the very least, brought under control, said Want."
The Regulatory Commission of Alaska has asked Alaska's Attorney General, Kevin Clarkson, to be a part of the decision process. A determination must be made by August 23, 2020.