Osseo Residents Raise Concerns Over Higher Water Bills
Roughly 2,700 people call Osseo their home. Right now, some of those people are upset over their water bill.
“It’s money coming out of my pocket, and everyone else’s,” said John Hall, an Osseo resident who once served as mayor.
Specifically, Hall is talking about the rate he’s now paying for water and sanitary sewer.
“The water bills skyrocketed about a year ago,” Hall said. “We’re paying more now for water and sanitary sewer than we are for our actual property taxes.”
According to city officials, the higher rates are the result of several factors, including installing new water meters, sewer mains and lift stations. The city financed the capital improvement projects over the last three years.
“I understand that they’re doing projects in the city, doing street repairs, updating sanitary sewer and water,” Hall said. “But I think it’s a little bit high.”
Hall isn’t the only one to feel that way about the utility fees.
Firm Suggests Osseo Renegotiate Maple Grove Water Deal
Monday night during an Osseo City Council work session, representatives from Ehlers consulting firm came to city hall to talk more about those utility rates and what Osseo could possibly do to lower the costs.
The firm suggested that Osseo is overpaying the city of Maple Grove for its water.
“One of our recommendations we’re going to be talking about is when that contract comes up, which it is coming up, that we renegotiate and do a better analysis about what their cost of delivering water to you actually is,” said Jessica Cook, a consultant from Ehlers, to the city council.
The recommendation, however, was met with some hesitation.
“Quite frankly, I think we’re irresponsible if we just think that renegotiating with zero leverage on Maple Grove is going to amount to anything,” said Osseo City Council member Mark Schulz. “I mean we literally have no cards to play.”
For the time being, Ehlers will continue its study of Osseo’s utility rates. The city, meanwhile, hopes to adopt new rates in March.
Hall plans to pay close attention.
“Yes, it’s called fighting city hall,” Hall said. “It almost motivates me to run again.”
Related: Osseo Seeks State Bonding Money for Lift Stations