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Columbia monthly water fee to increase Jan. 1

Customers of Columbia Water and Light will see an increase in their monthly water bills starting Jan. 1 based on the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ revised primacy fee structure.

The primacy fee, signed into law in 1992, supports lab testing, water system monitoring and other services carried out by DNR. The fee will increase from about a dollar to $4.80 per year for the average residential customer.

Some customers will see their fees increase threefold, according to figures in a release from DNR, with the restructuring of fees based on customers’ connection size in the water system.

For example, customers with a connection size of less than a 1-inch meter will see their monthly fee increase from 13 cents to 40 cents. For customers with a connection size greater than a 4-inch meter, the monthly rate increases from $6.87 to $16.50.

Matt Nestor, the public information specialist with the city utilities department, said most residential housing has a connection size of less than 1 inch. Large businesses will have larger meter sizes, thus resulting in more expensive monthly fees.

The primacy fee will appear on monthly statements as “State Regulatory Fee — Water.”

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.