The Lebanon City Council voted Monday night to approve a 32 percent rate increase for Lebanon Utilities wastewater customers.
The increase, which takes effect Jan. 1, marks the first time the utility has hiked wastewater rates since 2005. Utility officials said average residential bills are expected to climb more than $11 per month.
Utility officials said the rate increase has been needed for several years but was delayed to soften the financial blow to customers after water rates were increased in 2009 and electricity rates were boosted in 2012.
“Since 2011, Lebanon Utilities revenues have not covered yearly expenses, and the utility has been forced to dip into reserves to cover rising costs,” the utility said in a written statement.
Lebanon Utilities is a municipally owned electric, water and wastewater utility that services the city of Lebanon and the town of Ulen. It also provides sewer and water services to the town of Elmwood. It has more than 6,000 water customers.