EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Edmond residents have been reacting to the news of a water rate hike expected to go into effect later this year and increase each year through 2026. The city council voted 4-1 to approve the rate increase on Monday, September 11.
Edmond’s Marketing and PR Manager, Bill Begley, said the increase will go towards $400 million in improvements to the city’s water and sewage systems.
“It’s the biggest capital improvement project in the history of the city,” said Begley. “The whole idea was to try to get ahead of that growth by making sure that we are building infrastructure, especially water infrastructure because it’s so important to this area that we’ll be able to supply safe, clean water for our residents as Edmond continues to grow.”
Judy Starr said she moved back to Oklahoma from California two years ago and was shocked by her monthly water bill.
“It’s already way too expensive,” said Starr. “I was floored that they’re going to increase.”
Another Edmond neighbor said he agreed with the decision because of Edmond’s constant growth.
“If you don’t, then it will still grow anyways and it will be a much more miserable place if you don’t have the infrastructure,” said Randy Adams, long-time resident.
KFOR checked other major metro utility departments to compare water rates. People living in Oklahoma City pay $3.28 per 1,000 gallons of water. It’s $3.35 in Norman, $4.40 in Moore, and $4.05 in Yukon. In Edmond, that number jumped to $7.95 for every 1,000 gallons.
With the new rate hike, the cost would climb to $8.35 in November, increasing each year until 2026, capping off at $9.12. The increase would add around $4.00 to a monthly bill, then go up around three percent over the next three years.
Starr said regardless of the improvements, the city is asking too much from its residents.
“It’s already what seems like an outrageous amount,” said Starr.