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Multi-family housing in Blackduck could see raise in water, sewer costs

Some businesses in the city of Blackduck could see relief in their water bills in the future.

It's likely that the cost of water and sewer will decrease for commercial users and increase for multi-family housing units. Residential users wouldn't be affected.

A new rate system for city water and sewer was discussed on Oct. 24 during a budget work session meeting with the Blackduck City Council.

The deliberation began about Jan. 1, 2013 to come up with a schedule that would be fair and equitable to residents and to the city.

Last year, they tried to incorporate a different scale based on the demand that was created on the system.

There were complaints after the scale was created by three commercial businesses in Blackduck after it was put into place.

"What's typical, certainly in Minnesota, is that multi-family units are charged a base rate," City Administrator Karin Elhard said.

Prior to this change in the past year, they have always been charged the same rates as a single family, which was $10 for water and $10 for sewer.

"That's not fair," Elhard said.

Apartment complexes will likely see an increase, as will the trailer court.

With the new proposed rate, the current base fee for the residential areas wouldn't be affected. But all of the dwellings in the multi-family complexes would be charged a base rate of $10.

A $25 base rate would also be implemented for commercial users. That would include about 16 users throughout Blackduck and would decrease some of their city water and sewer bills by nearly 50 percent.

"It really offers relief to the city of Blackduck in general," Elhard said. "We are just going to stick to our guns and do what the city should have done years ago."

Blackduck City Council will likely vote on this matter at their regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 4.

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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