Every two years, the Oklahoma Municipal League surveys hundreds of its member cities and towns about their water rates.
StateImpact got an early look at the 2012 data, and found Fort Towson, just across the Red River in Choctaw County, has the highest residential water rate of any community that responded to the OML survey.
Fort Towsoners pay $66.00 per month for 5,000 gallons of water. Contrast that with the rural Ellis County town of Gage in northwest Oklahoma, where residents pay just $8.60 for the same amount.
When a town’s tax base is tiny, and the Department of Environmental Quality mandates expensive water infrastructure improvements, raising utility bills can be the only hope for staying solvent.