Water rates go up in Bristow


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Reported by: Janna Clark
Updated: 11/01/2013 5:38 pm Published: 11/01/2013 4:59 pm


Water rates went up for people in Bristow.

Amanda Nedlose says she wasn't too upset when Bristow's water rates went up the first time, earlier this year.

"I voiced my opinion before about the water rates," she said.

But now they're going up again.

"I don't mind paying what I think is fair, but I believe the water's gone way too high," she said.

FOX23 talked to more than a dozen people in Bristow who say this is going to hurt.

"Some of these old folks, they can't afford what they're paying now," she said.

The city of Bristow raised utility rates from a base rate of $18 a month to $25 for water, and from $11 to $15 for sewer.

That's an increase from $29 to $40 a month and even more if you exceed the base rate.

The city says it adds up to a 32 percent increase on utilities this year.

"That is drastic," she said.

Mayor Ralph Barnett said the city's been dealing with a shortfall since about 2007 when tax revenue took a hit.

"It just has not come back," he said.

Barnett said the city auditor told him two years ago the city wasn't generating enough money, and the city tried to compensate with a hiring freeze six months ago that meant six fewer employees at public works and two fewer in the police department.

But Barnett says it's still not enough.

"Our city council decided, 'Let's bite the bullet. Let's fix the problem,'" he said.

Barnett said the only choice is to raise rates on the public.

Nedlose disagrees.

"I think they need to go back and look at it again," she said.

She said the city needs to find another way to cut back, not burden the people.

"They got to cut budgets somewhere else besides raising the water," she said.

The city says that officially water rates go up Friday, but that may not be reflected on bills for about a month.


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