City Closer to Increasing Waste Water Utility Rates

(Gillette, Wyo.) The city continues to move forward with the proposed increase to the waste water utilities, which will be presented to the council as an ordinance next week.

As with any new ordinance, the proposed rate increase must make it through three readings and be published in the newspaper of record before it can take effect.

The first reading will take place on March 20, with the second and third readings taking place in April.

Should the ordinance proceed through the three readings successfully, residents will experience a 5.5 percent increase to their waste water utility rate, effective May 1.

City Utilities Director Mike Cole said that the city is looking for a total revenue increase of 5.5 percent, which amounts to about $270,000 in additional revenue. This will be achieved by increasing waste water utility rates.

For residential water meters one inch and smaller, the city is proposing to increase the fixed charge from $9.01 to $10.50.

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To put it into perspective, any resident that uses around 5,000 gallons per month would experience an estimated increase of $1.49—about 6.4 percent.

The city is moving away from the fixed rate of $45.32 for water meters larger than one inch.

All 1.5 inch water meters will have their fixed charge reduced to $39.90. For two inch water meters, the rate will be increased to $55.97.

Water meters three inches or larger will have a new fixed charge of $105.

For example, any buildings with a three inch water meter and around 130,000 gallons of water consumption, such as a hotel, the increase would be significant—property owners would be experiencing a 14.2 percent increase of about $59.68 more a month.

The consumption charge per 1,000 gallons will remain the same at $2.88 for residential, commercial, and industrial classes, according to Cole.

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Antelope Valley customers will only experience a 1.1 percent increase, about $0.39. Rates for the newly annexed area are based on a flat consumption of 9,000 gallons plus a $1.10 maintenance fee.

Without water meters installed, there is no way to accurately measure an Antelope Valley resident’s water consumption.

Residents in Antelope Valley do not receive city water at the moment, but they do use city sewer services, Cole said.

Once the city takes over ownership of the sewer system, which could happen relatively soon, the maintenance fee will disappear.