Rates are going up in Milton-Freewater.

With the adoption of its $24.3 million budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the city council hiked up some of its city rates, mostly to pay for increasing costs, according to city documents. Water and sewer rates are increasing 15 percent.

The council adopted its budget and the rate increases at its regular Monday night meeting.

The city also is amending its requirements for garbage service to get make sure people have the right size bins.

The 15-percent water rate increase is equivalent to a $2.58 monthly increase from the base rate, documents said. The city is hiking the price to pay for the rising cost of chlorine and offset the cost of more testing requirements for the water system.

The 15-percent sewer rate increase amounts to $3.72 from the base rate. The increase will pay for rising costs in operations and materials, as well as make up for a loss in industrial revenues, documents said.

The city requires water and sewer customers to have a weekly garbage service. On Monday the council amended the requirement to make sure there's equal service to single family homes and multi-family homes. The revision requires at each household unit - such as an apartment - get the equivalent of a 90-gallon bin for buildings of four units or more.

Public Works Superintendent Dave Bradshaw said there are places in town that don't have their trash taken out often enough, leaving "overflow of waste, making it a public nuisance according to city code."

As an example, the report said a multi-family apartment complex with nine units may have one 300-gallon container emptied twice a week. That comes out to about 67 gallons of trash per unit, or family. This compares to a regular single family home, which has a 90-gallon bin to fill weekly.

The change in the requirements will bring an apartment's trash capacity closer or near the same as a single-family home.

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