Water pipes in Sioux Center

Sioux Center Municipal Utilities is recommending the city council consider increasing water rates due to a growing community and ongoing maintenance of older parts of the water system.

SIOUX CENTERTwo water rate increases will go into effect in the next two years for Sioux Center.

The Sioux Center City Council at its meeting Monday, July 1, approved two 6 percent rate increases after completing the third and final reading of the ordinance. One 6 percent rate increase will go into effect September 2019. Another 6 percent rate increase will go into effect September 2020.

It was approved 4-0, with Dale Den Herder absent for that vote.

City finance director Darryl Ten Pas said after 2020, the increase from today’s payment for the average residential customer with a usage of 5,000 gallons would be $4.20.

Sioux Center Municipal Utilities recommended the council consider increasing water rates due to a growing community and ongoing maintenance of older parts of the water system.

“On one hand we have new development areas opening, and there are costs to putting in new infrastructure there. On the other hand, we have older areas in town where we are doing replacements to maintain our system,” said utilities manager Murray Hulstein. “These are good things, but when we’re moving toward some necessary bigger projects like adding a new water tower on the south side of town, we need to be ready for that.”

Water Department head Harlan Kruid said some of Sioux Center’s cast iron water mains were installed when the community was one-third of its current size.

“These small mains were ample then. Now they serve more people,” Kruid said. “But the main reason we need to replace them is they are old and deteriorating. We had 10 water main breaks this past year.”

The Sioux Center Water Department provides water to 2,536 customers drawn from local aquifers and treated to exceed all federal and state standards.