By: Tara Blue
On Tuesday, April 2nd, the City of Ashland Board of Alderman took several actions which will fiscally affect residents.

Sewer & Water Rate increases

The City of Ashland voted to approve an amendment to Chapter 14 of the city code regarding a 4.8% increase in both the base fee and per thousand gallons fee for sewer services and a 3.2% increase for both the base fee and the per thousand gallons fee for water services.

City Treasurer Shelley Martin told the board that sewer rates have not changed since 2018, and water used rates have not changed since the early 2000’s, yet the city has seen increases in operating costs.

The fiscal impact of the sewer and water increases are listed below:
• Base Rate will change from $27.75 to $29.00 for sewer.
• The per thousand gallon rate will change from $5.25 to $5.50 for sewer.
• Base rate will change from $8.90 to $9.20 for water.
• The per thousand gallon rate will change from $4.71 to $4.86 for water.
• For an assumed 2,500 gallon bill, customer bill will transition from $61.54 to $64.10. A change of $2.56 per month.

Impact Fees

The board also voted to approve an ordinance which amends the city code to reflect a 5% increase in sewer impact and collection fees and also a 5% increase in water meter fees. Martin says the rates have not changed since 2022 but the city has seen an increase in operating costs. The ordinance passed unanimously.

Mayor pay

As Mayor pro tem, Alderwoman Stephanie Bell made the motion to increase the mayor’s compensation from $500 to $550, a 10% increase. Bell reasoned that the mayor’s pay hasn’t kept up with the rate of inflation and compared the increase to the 8% raise that the state recently gave its employees. The board approved the motion.


The City of Ashland passed an ordinance adopting its fiscal year 2025 budget beginning May 1, 2024 and ending April 30, 2025. Most notable within the new budget is:
• Purchase of new fleet vehicles for community development and police department.
• Increase in city liability, causality and asset insurance costs.
• Increase in local government employees retirement system contributions for all departments.
• Increase training budgets for both city officials and staff.
• The addition of an intern program.
• Master planning for both the street and water departments.
• Mill and overlays of city streets.
• New assist management software.
• New city website.
• Multiple capital projects for streets, water and sewer.

Wastewater Treatment Facility

The first reading of an ordinance approving a contract with Bartlett & West for the design construction of the expanded wastewater treatment facility passed unanimously.

The city says that “30% of the design would be completed within 180 days, bidding and guaranteed max price developed within 60 days of design completion, and overall construction completed within 240 days of the City issuing a notice to proceed.

The City will have its financial analysis completed in conjunction with Bartlett & West reaching the guaranteed maximum price. This will position the Board to determine the path to finance prior to commencing construction. The total price of this design and project management service is: $472,001.”

City Administrator Kyle Michel added a change to the price, increasing from $472,001 to $492,001 after clarifying a $20,000 expenditure.

Article source: City of Ashland Board April 2, 2024 agenda.