CRESTVIEW — After an in-depth analysis on behalf of the city in 2011, Tetra Tech consultants recommended Crestview increase its water rates to fund future water system expansion needs.

While various council members have since periodically brought up the water and environment engineering consultants’ recommendation, no action had been taken.

Until now.

At a Jan. 25 workshop, at the council’s request, City Clerk Betsy Roy introduced the projected impact of a 2 percent water rates increase with a $1 per monthly residential and $5 commercial stormwater fee.

After considering Roy’s estimated impact — residential rates would increase an average of $2.04 monthly; average commercial rates would go up $8.72 — the council’s consensus was to have city staff continue its research and produce a suggested ordinance.

Part of the work is already done.

“I have the storm water ordinance ready,” Public Works Director Wayne Steele said. “I've had it for two years.”

Steele said any rate increase must be based on a projected need, as city-assessed fees must only cover actual expenses.

He listed several projects the growing city needs. These include an elevated water tank near the Fox Valley subdivision off Antioch Road and enlarged distribution lines along south State Road 85.

Crestview's water rates have not been increased since 1998, Roy said, and remain the lowest of any county municipality.