Omaha-area homeowners dealing with the sting of a big sewer rate hike now face a likely increase in water rates.
The Metropolitan Utilities District says it needs the money to replace aging water mains.
MUD management is proposing a 19 percent increase in water rates. The bill for an average homeowner would increase by less, 7.9 percent, because fixed charges make up more than half of the water bill. Fixed charges are not increasing.
Under the proposal, the average homeowner would pay about $27 more for water in 2019, or about $2.30 a month, MUD said, an amount the utility said will be more than offset by another year of cheaper-than-expected natural gas.
Even if the water rate increase is adopted, Omaha should remain competitive with other cities in its peer group, given rate and fee increases elsewhere to address water infrastructure, said Deb Schneider, senior vice president and chief financial officer of MUD.
The MUD board is set to discuss and vote on the water proposal during its committee and board meeting at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday at its downtown headquarters. The board will make time for public testimony.