- City water customers in Eagle River will see the effects of a brutally cold winter in 2014 four years later.
Starting this month, water bills will increase by an average of 50 percent. Cold weather in 2014 forced the city to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair water main freezes and breaks.
Low water bill revenues couldn't keep up.
"That winter of 2014 was probably the straw that kind of broke the camel's back that finally said, hey, you guys need to look at a rate increase," said city utility manager Pat Weber.
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission approved the rate increase in April. It's Eagle River's first major rate increase in 20 years.
Weber said he hasn't heard much feedback, positive or negative, about the change.
"I think most of our people here have seen what's been done over the years and the problems that have arisen with the last few cold years," he said.
The rate change only applies to water bills, not sewer or other utilities.