Residents to receive utility credits

By Joshua Baethge
For the Anna-Melissa Tribune

Residents of both Anna and Melissa can expect to pay slightly less on their utility bills thanks to City Council decisions last week.  

Melissa Water Tower

On March, 9 the Melissa City Council approved a provision proposed by city staff that includes a credit for dripping faucets during February’s winter storms. The amount will be approximately $10.52 per household.  The credit took into account the fact that the amount of dripping water varied not only home-to-home but also on the type of faucet among other factors.  The across the board rate was determined to be a fair and equitable rebate for customers who consumed additional water by dripping faucets to prevent bursting pipes.

Melissa officials also evaluated its Water Quarter Averaging (WQA) process ending Feb. 15 that will set rates for the upcoming year.  They determined that the winter’s storm's effect on that process did not justify an additional credit.

Jason Little

“The impact of dripping on the WQA was extremely minimal,” Melissa City Manager Jason Little said. said. “It’s undeniable, though, that the dripping faucets that residents sensibly used to protect their plumbing, and the overall system by the way, should be considered for some type of adjustment. The Council was extremely receptive of the recommended adjustment for the full volume consumed during the extreme weather event. We’re comfortable with the numbers, and fortunately, have enough of a reserve in our Utility Budget to implement this solution without negatively impacting the Utility Fund.” 

The credit will be applied to Melissa residents’ March utility bills that are due in April.

Anna's water tower  September 2020.

The Anna City Council also voted on March 9 to give its residents a $15 credit for disruption of water service during the storm. The credit also took into consideration missed solid waste pickup service for one week and a small drip adjustment.

People who suffered major leaks may still be eligible for an additional leak adjustment.  Those situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The credits will be applied to residents' next regular water bill.

City Manager Jim Proce says that these credits will cost the city around $100,000.  However, since the city’s utility fund balance is above what had been anticipated, it will be able to absorb the cost.

Jim Proce