Kansas City hopes to deal with rising water bills - KCTV5

Kansas City hopes to deal with rising water bills

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The committee has sent the list of recommendations to the full city council. (KCTV5) The committee has sent the list of recommendations to the full city council. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

As more and more people in Kansas City are dealing with soaring water bills, the city is looking at ways to slow the increase of water rates.

City leaders say they have been forced to raise residents water bills to pay for major improvements.

One of the biggest projects is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency and requires the city spend up to $5 billion to fix its stormwater system. 

On Wednesday, a city council committee heard the recommendations of the Kansas City Water Cost of Service Task Force, put together to study the problem.

The task force was created by Mayor Sly James in April of 2016 to develop a forward looking funding strategy for the city's three utilities, water, wastewater and stormwater, including an effort to change the EPA mandate or seek state and federal funding.

Currently, Kansas City has one of the highest monthly water rates in the country, for a city of its size.


Kansas City: $115

St. Louis: $80

Cincinnati: $91

Nashville: $46


“Oh, it is definitely too high,” said Carolyne Webb, a concerned resident. “People are struggling. I live in, I wouldn’t even say a middle-class neighborhood. Those homes are people who have been there for years. A lot of them, people lost them in foreclosure. Everyone is complaining about their water bills.”

The committee sent the list of recommendations to the full city council. A meeting was held on the 26th floor of City Hall at 3 p.m.

Over the last year, the committee has been trying to figure out what to do next and it looks like the discussion will have to go to the federal level.

There will have to be discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice over the rates in KCMO.

It is not an issue that will be solved overnight because dealing with federal agencies takes time. However, no timeline has been set for when a change could be in place.

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