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Water Rates Expected to Go Up

Post Date:12/14/2006 9:00 AM

Due to increasing operating costs, consumer water rates are expected to rise during 2007. Two 14 percent hikes are being proposed: One beginning in February and the other in July. The most recent increase in water rates was in 2005, when the Board of Supervisors approved two 7 percent increases, which were also staggered. There was no rate increase during 2006.

The raise in rates represent an 11 percent increase in operations and maintenance, which includes power costs, chemicals, water sampling, wholesale water purchases and leases; a 3 percent increase for water supply improvements; a 6 percent increase to improve the water system; a 4 percent increase to improve water quality; and a 4 percent increase for other capital improvements. 

A Carson City resident using about 14,000 gallons a month who now pays $18.62 will see that amount go up to $24.25 after July 1. Small commercial customers who consume 11,000 a month would see the cost jump from $16.13 to $21 within the same time frame. A heavy water user will likely see a substantial hike.

The same resident using 14,000 gallons would pay $45.18 living in the Truckee Meadows and $88.35 in Mound House. While it's a large increase for Carson City water customers, Carson City still remains lower than other communities in the region.

Water service is one of the city's enterprise "fund" programs. These are services that aren't funded by tax revenues but by user fees, and operate similar to businesses. More than half of the city's budget is comprised of "enterprise" funds, which are expected to require $60 million during this fiscal year ending June 30, 2007.

The Board of Supervisors will review the water rate proposal and vote on it for the first time during their January 4 meeting. Final approval and adoption for the proposal could come at the January 18 meeting.

To review the proposal that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors, click here.  (To view the presentation, you will need an Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer which you may download via our Download Center.)

For more information, please call Ken Arnold at 887-2355, ext. 1015.

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