At the Casper city council meeting on Tuesday, the council unanimously approved the increase in rates that were discussed at the previous work session.

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The increase comes down to a 7% increase to water rates, an 11% increase in  rates sewer, and a 26% increase to trash collection, an $11 increase on average.

Council member Kyle Gamroth said that they've heard from many people that are upset about the rate increase, but stated that it is important for the city to increase the rates in order to keep enough money in reserves.

After being asked about programs available for people that may have difficulties paying for the increase, city manager Carter Napier said there are several services available for citizens to help them pay for utilities.

Council member Bruce Knell said, as was mentioned at the work session where they discussed this, that the city subsidizes citizens water and sewer bills so that they pay low rates.

The money for those subsidies comes from one cent funds.

Knell said the reason for the increase in cost is due to rising inflation, causing something like the cost of pipes to increase by 140%.

Council member Steve Cathey said the council considered the cost increases that would affect fixed income people, but that the city needed to have enough money to stay out of dipping into reserves and not "operating paycheck to paycheck."

Based on numbers released by the district, people in Casper pay the lowest rates for water, sewer and trash collection for anyone in Wyoming and for most people across the country.

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