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The City is working to secure two types of loans (state and federal) which are awarded to public water supply projects and provide significant cost savings. If granted, the two loans are expected to save $76 million, keep the rate increases lower, and may help complete the project earlier than if the City had to rely on other financing options. The loans are offered by:
2020 combined water and sewer rates will increase by 5% for 2020. Customer bills will vary depending on the volume of water used, with hopes it will encourage water conservation. To help avoid the impact on people's water bills the city opted to use a mix of federal and state loans to keep rates at a minimum. Residential customers will likely experience a monthly increase of $2 to $7 depending on how much water is used. Commercial customers, on average, may see an increase of around $28 per month, and industrial customers, on average, may see an increase of about $2,600.
It is important to remember that the City has been diligent about minimizing the impact on ratepayers. The current proposal calls for rate increases to be spread out over time to ensure customers who benefit from future improvements will be the ones who pay for them.
Designing and building a new water treatment facility is a large and complex investment in Wichita's infrastructure that will serve future generations.
The City is focused on delivering a state-of-the-art facility at the best possible value to ratepayers.
The City submitted its WIFIA application on October 29, 2019, a key milestone toward achieving a water-secure future for Wichita.
Wichita is only one of 39 communities invited to participate in the Wi-FiA application, recognizing the quality of the city's planning efforts.
Wi-FiA financing is advantageous to ratepayers as it is the only low-interest loan program available that allows debt payments to be deferred until five years after construction is completed.
This unique repayment plan allows for rate increases to be much more gradual to support the project.