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New water, sewer rates approved for Blackduck multi-family housing, businesses

New water and sewer rates will go into effect for businesses, the school and multi-family housing units in Blackduck next month. The Blackduck City Council approved the change at its regular meeting Nov. 4.

Commercial businesses in Blackduck will see a decrease in the newly structured rates and multi-family housing units may see a rate increase.

A base rate will be implemented for all units in multi-family housing of $10 for water and $10 for sewer, opposed to the entire complex paying one base rate. Families and residents living in apartment buildings likely will not be impacted, but the realty companies and owners of complexes will see the change.

Councilor Mary Loeken expressed concern that the people living in the mobile home court would have to pay for empty lots. There are lots that haven't been used for 10 years and likely won't be used again, according to Loeken.

"There are like seven to 10 of them and that's about $100 per month," Loeken said. "That's the only problem I have with it."

City Administrator Karin Elhard said that they will average out the history of occupied lots and use that number.

"It wouldn't concern me but we already doubled last year when we raised it," Loeken said. "And now it's going to double again."

Councilor Rudy Patch suggested the mobile home court look into getting water meters for each individual lot so residents would be reimbursed for their water usage.

Businesses as well as Blackduck High School will see relief under the changes. This past summer, the school started watering its baseball and football fields. "So that would have a major impact on us," Superintendent Wally Schoeb said.

Last fall, the school asked for permission to dig its own well, but the request was denied.

The base rate for commercial businesses will be $25 for water and $25 for sewer.

Residential areas of Blackduck will not be affected by the new rates.

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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