Albert Lea residents may see increase in water, sewer fees in 2023

(ABC 6 News) – The City of Albert Lea said they are considering increasing water and sewer fees by 5% and 7%, respectively, in 2023 in order to keep those funds self-sustaining.

The city says under state law, fees must cover the costs of providing water and sewer services, and they cannot use property taxes to subsidize these services.

The cost of providing water and sewer services has increased due to inflation and projects like the new Central Water Tower, according to the city.

The city says according to a survey of upper Midwest utilities, the average household uses 6,000 gallons of water per month, therefore the average monthly fees would increase for the following:

  • Water base from $18.20 to $19.10.
  • Water consumption from $15.71 to $16.50.
  • Sewer base from $17.50 to $18.70.
  • Sewer consumption from $17.91 to $19.17.

In total, the average monthly water and sewer bill would increase by $4.15, from $69.32 to $73.47.

Despite the increase, the city says they still would have the lowest water and sewer fees (combined) per month than other cities in southern Minnesota.

  • Rochester – $80.15 (includes a stormwater utility fee).
  • Worthington – $81.84 (includes a stormwater utility fee).
  • New Ulm – $82.28.
  • Austin – $82. 62 (includes a stormwater utility fee).
  • Marshall – $112.66 (includes a stormwater utility fee).
  • Fairmont – $131.86 (includes a stormwater utility fee).

The Albert Lea city council is scheduled to vote on the 2023 fee schedule at its Dec. 12 meeting at City Hall. It is open to the public and starts at 7:00 p.m.