A little history…
For fiscal year 2019 (which began July 1, 2018) Raleigh’s Public Utilities recommended a increase in our water/sewer utility rate of 3.2%. The recommendation was to maintain this rate increase for at least five years. Several of us on Council questioned the need for such a long term rate increase. For 2019 we agreed to hold the rate increase to 1.6% while we looked more deeply into the financial needs of the utility.
After a year of study, Raleigh’s Public Utilities staff was able to find ways to better control costs. Going into the 2020 fiscal year staff recommended an even lower rate increase of 1.3% than was adopted in 2019. This increase amounts to a 75 cent per month increase on the base sewer rate.
Importantly, there will be no usage rate increase for sewer and no increase for the base or usage rates for water. This recommendation was presented in March and unanimously adopted by Council.
Where does Raleigh stand on the quality of its water and sewer utility? Compared nationally it is tops. In 2019 we had a record low sanitary sewer overflow rate of less than 1 per 100 miles of pipe compared to four times that rate nationally and to seven times that rate in the southeast.
Our public utility has also received continued its record of 100% compliance with industry standards.
In short, Raleigh has one of the highest rated water and sewer utilities that is well funded with an eye on effective cost control.