Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette The Leitchfield Utilities Commission on Thursday voted to raise the city's sewer rates.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

The Leitchfield Utilities Commission on Thursday voted to raise the city's sewer rates.

Following the decision to raise Leitchfield's water rates last month, the Leitchfield Utilities Commission on Thursday voted to also implement a 4 percent increase to the city's sewer rates.

The minimum sewer bill will, effective the first billing cycle in January, increase from $10.61 to $11.03. The price of the next 2,000 gallons used will also increase from $3.93 to $4.09 per 1,000 gallons, and, for any usage above that, the charge will increase from $5.64 to $5.86 per 1,000 gallons used.

In other words, a customer who uses 10,000 gallons would see his or her bill increase from $63.59 to $66.09.

Leitchfield Utilities Chairman Bob Crawford said Thursday that, since the Utilities Commission was established in 2003, the sewer rates have not been increased. This is due to the utilities' being required to make a significant increase to the sewer rates in the 1990s in response to a capital project.

The increase led Leitchfield's sewer rates to be higher than many surrounding cities, Crawford said, and, for that reason, the city has striven not to increase sewer rates any further. Leitchfield Utilities Superintendent Dwight Embry said the sewer rates were last increased in 2002.

However, the bonds to fund the construction of a new Leitchfield Water Treatment Plant are contingent upon the utilities' increase of their rates to ensure the loan can be repaid.

Utilities officials on Thursday also discussed the need for more periodic rate revisions. Crawford and Utilities Commissioner Keith Jones agreed that smaller rate increases on a more frequent basis would be preferable and more manageable for customers than a single significant increase implemented less frequently.

Crawford said that, even with the rate increase, Leitchfield will still compare favorably to neighboring cities.

The Utilities Commission also voted on Thursday to correct an error regarding the increased minimum water rate for customers outside of the city limits. It was stated previously that the new minimum rate would be $18.04; however, the correct rate is actually $18.02.