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Unalaskans Will Pay More For Utilities After Council Approves Rate Hike

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Métoule via Flickr Creative Common
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Over the next four years, Unalaskans will see their monthly utility bills grow by $18.86 on average. For island businesses, it’ll be an $837.52 jump.

The City Council unanimously approved the rate hikes at a lightning-fast meeting Tuesday night.

The cost of wastewater utilities will increase by 15 percent over four years, while the cost of solid waste grows by 13.5 percent over three years.

Those numbers will come as a relief to the community, after the council spent months considering rate hikes as high as 50 percent.

City Manager Dave Martinson said the council softened the blow by subsidizing utilities -- at no more than $1.3 million annually -- and skipping a rate increase for water.

“We think this is the best way to minimize the impact to our community," said Martinson. "We will be looking at these rates every year, and we will bring them to the council again if any substantive changes have to occur.”

Unalaska’s utility rates have been on the rise since 2012 -- after federal mandates forced the city to make expensive upgrades to water treatment facilities on the island.

The new round of rate hikes goes into effect July 1.

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