WMS rates to increase

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE — Water and cable customers here will see slightly higher bills after recent rate increases were approved by the city council.

The rate water rate increases of about 10 cents per killagallon, to $1.35 per killagallon from $1.27 per killagallon, or about 48 cents for an average customer per month, were originally scheduled to go into effect in 2010, but were deferred because of various other Wyandotte Municipal Services utility rate increases. Another 10 cent increase was implemented

Cable rates are set to increase an average of 4.5 percent; basic cable rates will rise from $16.69 per month to $17.70 per month, expanded basic will rise from $39.99 to $42.59 and high speed internet will rise from $42.79 to $43.99.

WMS General Manager Melanie McCoy said the increases for both, which take effect Nov. 1 and were presented as part of WMS’s 2012-13 fiscal year budget, are necessary to cover projected expenses and build capitol fund balances in both departments.

The cable increases are projected to increase revenue by $560,000 and follow one implemented last October. The water rate increases will result in a projected $135,000 revenue increase, McCoy said.

McCoy said the cable rate increases are necessary because of a declining customer base caused by competition and fewer households in the area. More than 68 percent of city residents still subscribe to WMS cable.

At the meeting, Mayor Joseph Peterson suggested increased marketing efforts for the department, such as the implementation of ads featuring satisfied customers and increased efforts to contact former subscribers and ask them if they remain satisfied with a competitor’s service after introductory rates have expired.