MILLS, Wyo. — Starting Sept. 1, businesses and residents will pay more for water and sanitation services provided by the City of Mills.

On Tuesday, Aug. 22, the Mills City Council approved a resolution setting the new rates in a 5–0 vote during a regular council meeting at City Hall, 704 4th St.

Residential and commercial water consumers pay the same rates. Rates differ for users within and outside of city limits. 

For Mills consumers, the new minimum charge for water will go up $2.05 per month, from $9.45 to $11.50 — a 21.69% difference; however, the volume charge won’t kick in until 2,000 gallons are metered instead of the current 1,500.

The volume rate starting Sept. 1 remains at $4.25 per thousand gallons.

Casey Coates, public works supervisor, reviewed the changes with councilmembers during an Aug. 8 work session at City Hall. 

For 6,000 gallons, the current average cost per month is $27.45, he said, comparing that cost to $30.21 paid by the average citizen in Casper. New rates will up the Mills average to $28.50, which is still under the Casper rate, Coates said.

Consumers outside of Mills will pay a new minimum charge of $15.50 per month, or $1.32 per month more than the current rate of $14.18. The change represents a 9.31% increase.

The volume rate, also changed from 1,500 to 2,000 gallons, remains the same at $6.25 per thousand gallons.

Sanitation services are also addressed in the newly adopted resolution. 

For the most part, residential fees stay the same, Coates said on Aug. 8.

The $25 per bag (or $50 per incident) charge for violation of the city’s bagging ordinance will be “particularly helpful for our garbage guys,” he said.

Addressing commercial rates, based on the number of pickups and volume, Coates said the City of Mills needs to increase the cost of commercial cans. 

According to the new resolution, if the commercial customer does not own the container, a 20% increase is applied to the rate to lease a can.

The Aug. 8 work session included discussion of City of Casper dump passes and extra garbage collections.

City of Mills sanitation customers receive free landfill passes with their water bills. 

Mills officials expressed concern about non-Mills residents using City of Mills passes and expressed a desire for better tracking to ensure Mills is not paying the Casper landfill for misuse. 

At the Aug. 22 Mills City Council work session, Councilor Cherie Butcher said she’d learned the City of Casper landfill does not keep redeemed City of Mills paper bills.  

“Mills is just a tally,” Butcher said. 

She said a meeting is planned to change the situation so Mills receives paper copies, similar to what she said is done for Evansville and Bar Nunn.

“I think it’s getting abused,” Mayor Leah Juarez said.

Starting Sept. 1, extra garbage collections by the City of Mills are offered every other week on Thursdays and must be scheduled with Mills City Hall each week before the collection day.

The new resolution also contains a water fee schedule addressing fees to initiate service, deposit fees and late fees. Sanitation fees for services such as habitual customer call-backs, extremely dense or heavy waste, and commercial dumpster repairs are listed as well.