Impact of lower utility fees

BISMARCK, N.D. - Bismarck Public Works says it will fall a million dollars short after the city commission approved a monthly utility fee increase of $2.50 instead of $7.50.

Set to go into effect on Jan. 1, the new fee would have charged all lot owners a $7.50 monthly fee, a fee which was previously only charged to lots with a water meter.

However, there was pushback from groups that own those pieces of land and don't use water, with some saying it would cost them thousands of extra dollars each year. The city settled on a $2.50 fee for all properties with water lines.

Now, the public works department is trying to figure out how to complete all the necessary projects with more than a million dollars less in revenue this year.

"It's kinda an unknown risk that we're taking on but these are projects that when we're looking at the other ones there’s other ones that are far more important that we did actually need to move forward. So, we tried to weigh the risks and the benefits of those projects," said Director of Utility Operations Michelle Klose.

Projects that are taking hits include connecting storm water and sewer lines, lift station repairs, manhole relocations and more.