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The Philomath Finance and Administration Committee plans to meet at 4 p.m. Thursday through videoconferencing to discuss conservation measures related to water rate pricing.

The Philomath City Council at its Sept. 13 meeting chose to hold off on the final approval of reducing utility rates and sent the matter back to the committee level to give more attention to incentivizing conservation by charging incrementally higher rates for high usage.

A proposal to lower utility bills likely came as welcomed news to local households after rates had gone up in recent years to prepare for the borrowing of funds to construct a new water treatment plant. When the city was told they had been awarded a $12 million grant to cover the amount needed to complete the project, thoughts almost immediately turned to easing the burden on residents by lowering their water and sewer bills.

Based on the average residential customer’s usage, the water portion of a utility bill would go down by almost $19 per month.

See the meeting agenda here.

The public can watch a live feed of the meeting on the city’s Facebook page.