Water, Gas Rate Hike Hurting Local Business - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

Water, Gas Rate Hike Hurting Local Business

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Curt Casper

OMAHA (KPTM) – The next time you go to the kitchen sink to get a glass of water be careful, it might cost you more than before. The Metropolitan Utility District serves Omaha and a large part of the surrounding area. If you have it, your rates are going up.

The board voted Tuesday to raise water rates by 5% and gas rates by 2.6%. The hike will start January 2, 2013. This rate applies to all costumers, including business owners like Carlos Gonzalez.

Gonzalez owns Sunshine Auto Detail near 35th and Center.

"This business means a lot to me," he said.

He has owned the business for about a year, the first three months business was slow. Gonzalez started to hand out fliers and promoting his business. Now business is booming as costumers want their cars clean.

As a detailer, water is important. A single car could use up to 12 gallons of water and at times he uses over 100 gallons of water in a single day.

Now with the MUD rate hike, it could become more difficult for Gonzalez to use the large of amount of water needed to clean the cars. His bill could jump as much as 90 dollars a year higher than it is now.

"If they increase the prices it is going to affect me and then it is going to affect the costumers because I have to increase prices," he said.

An MUD spokesperson said the rate hike is due to "personal related costs, increase for wages and steps, as well as our healthcare cost went up extensively."

MUD said the rate change is below the national average. The spokesperson said if costumers are concerned about the rate hike or will have problems making payments to call 1-402-554-6666.

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