by Amanda Schwarze
Some Medina residents are upset with Maple Plain’s water fees.
The city of Maple Plain supplies water to the Park Ridge Acres development in Medina. On top of the fees that Maple Plain residents are charged, the Medina properties pay a 25 percent nonresident fee. In addition, the city of Medina charges those residents an extra 10 percent to help cover costs that Medina incurs, such as expenses for reading meters and maintenance.
Beginning in October, Maple Plain city staff started receiving complaints from Medina residents about high water bills. Maple Plain Assistant to the City Administrator Maggie McCallum said she reviewed the bills and found that they had been appropriately charged under the current rate structure.
She said she also found that the Medina properties had used a high volume of water compared to Maple Plain residents over the summer. The higher amounts could be due in part to the larger lots in the Medina development and the fact that the residents are working to establish lawns, McCallum said.
A Medina resident attended the Nov. 12 Maple Plain City Council meeting to ask city officials to reconsider the 25 percent nonresident fee. She said her family of four had moved into the development early this year. At first, the water bills were around $120 to $130 per month, she said. During the summer, though, they decided to hydroseed, or apply a water and seed mixure to, their yard. In one month, she said, the family used about 81,000 gallons of water and were shocked to find their monthly bill had jumped up to more than $800.
“That’s a lot of water,” Councilor Jerry Young said.
He said that even without the city’s 25 percent nonresident fee, her water bill would be high after using that much water.
Medina Mayor Elizabeth Weir also attended the meeting. She said she understood the costs associated with delivering water to residents, but she said that she thought the 25 percent nonresident fee was too high. She asked the council to consider reducing that fee to 15 percent.
The council agreed consider the nonresident fee the next time city water rates were discussed.
Contact Amanda Schwarze at firstname.lastname@example.org