Utility Rates in Cape Girardeau: Changes Take Effect July 1, 2016

Starting July 1, 2016, the average Cape Girardeau city water, sewer, trash and recycling bill increased approximately $1.40 per month. Sewer usage estimates are also adjusted annually in July to reflect actual usage last winter (when usage is typically lowest).
This increase to Cape Girardeau’s water, sewer and trash utility rates makes up the second water rate increase since 2011 and first sewer rate change since 2013 (when sewer service rates were decreased by $1 per month).
During the past 5 years, including this year’s proposed increases, the average residential water/sewer/trash/recycling utility bill will have an average annual increase of 1.1 percent (all utilities combined).
No additional City sewer rate increases are currently expected over the next 5 years, based on the present financial situation.
Chart: Trash/recycling, sewer and water rates over the last 5 years in Cape Girardeau
More about City utilities, rates, and the upcoming increase
Depending on the services requested, customers are charged for a combination of water, sewer, trash and recycling on a standard City utility bill. Utilities not paid to the City in Cape Girardeau include electric, television and phone services, which are all provided by private entities and not local government.
Residential and commercial water charges in Cape Girardeau are made up of two parts: A general service rate based on meter size and a water commodity charge based on the amount of water usage by the customer.
Water rates for residential and commercial customers will increase three percent to their general service rate only. For example, residential customers currently paying $7.91 base charge (5/8 inch meter size) will now pay $8.15 base charge for water, or an additional three percent increase over the previous rate.
Residential sewer rates are also made up of two parts: A service charge and quantity charge. Previously, the base service charge per month was $12.19 for sewer service. After July 1, customers will now pay $12.44 per month base sewer service charge. The previous sewer quantity charge of $3 per CCF will increase to $3.06 per CCF after July 1. This is a two percent increase over previous years for the sewer portion of customers’ bills.
The monthly residential solid waste charge will increase $.50 per month, to $19.75 from $19.25. This includes trash and recycling services.
Commercial rate increases effective July 1 are along the same percentages as listed above for residential rates. For more information on how this will affect commercial rates, please contact Customer Service at 573-339-6327.
For those residential and commercial customers using the City’s Transfer Station, the rate increases to $59 from $57.50 per ton, a 2.61 percent increase.
Since July 1, 2011 through this year’s proposed July 1, 2016 solid waste increase, the monthly solid waste rates will have averaged increasing 3.35 percent per year.
So, what should I expect on my future City utility bills?

utilities-2016The base water charge was raised three percent, the base sewer rate and quantity charges were raised two percent, and the trash and recycling rate increased $.50 per month. Here is an example (at right) of what the increase looks like for each component of your utility bill. Please note that your bill may vary based on actual water/sewer use quantities; this is based on the citywide average use.
Why do we increase the bills?
Since 2011, a portion of the additional net revenue produced from each utility rate increase has been set aside for future capital improvements to the sewer system, as outlined in the City’s Capital Improvements Plan.
At the end of the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the estimated revenue set aside from the past increases is $588,714. The new utility increases will help set aside an additional $118,695 for sewer system capital improvements, or a total of $707,409 by the end of the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
This year’s sewer rate increase will also allow the City to meets it rate covenants for bonds issued to fund the recently-completed Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Questions about your bill or the utility increase?
Contact Customer Service at 573-339-6322.
Water per gallon