The McFarland Village Board voted last month to increase water rates by 3 percent to increase revenue. The increase to the bi-monthly bill will be made effective Nov. 13.

The public utilities committee in July recommended the rate adjustment to increase stagnant revenues after evaluating the financial performance of the utility in the annual audit and financial statements for McFarland utilities.

McFarland has not increased the water utility rates since October 2010, during which rates were also increased 3 percent. Over the course of the decade, McFarland rates have been some of the lowest in Dane County, according to an issue summary from the public works department Aug. 26.

Since the increase in 2010, McFarland has added debt. In 2018, net operating income decreased by 11 percent due to no revenue increases. The authorized rate of return went down 2.39 percent in 2018 and down from 3.19 percent in 2017. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) authorized a 7.25 percent rate of return.

Water usage has decreased or stayed the same in McFarland, as well as statewide.

The average residential customer that uses 8,000 gallons bimonthly will see an increase of less than $1 per bill. A notice of the rate of increase from the village said the average residential property will see an increase from an estimated $29.35 per bill to $30.25 per bill.

Commercial residences are estimated to have an increase from $99.41 to $102.47.

“So it is a very small incremental increase on the average customer bill,” said assistant to the public works director Aimee Irwin.

Sewer and stormwater utility rates will remain the same.

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