The council voted 5-3 in favor of the measure, so rates will increase by 15 percent next March, with another 10 percent jump in January of 2014, says Mike Bender, director of public works.
Mayor Bob McCaslin says the increase, which would add almost $10 to a $37 bill, is absolutely necessary to help pay for the Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority Regional Wastewater Facility.
"I can assure you, no one on staff wants to raise rates," McCaslin says. "For the last three years the city of Bentonville has seen rates dragging behind our actual total expense."
The facility was originally designed with the intention of serving several different cities, but when it opened about two years ago, only Bentonville and Tontitown were connected."
"That same cost has been divided among 2 municipalities versus several," he says. "It is a very expensive venture."
McCaslin says several cities are interested in using the plant, and that could help ease the city's burden.
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