APRIL 20, 2017 – The Water Authority’s governing board will vote next month on an FY2018 budget that includes an approximate 5-percent rate increase for infrastructure renewal.
For a typical single-family residential customer using 8 units (about 6,000 gallons) in the summer and 6 units in the winter, the rate change would translate to an increase of about $2.75 per month or $33 annually for water and sewer service.
That would mean the average domestic bill would go from $45.41 (old rates) to $48.19 (new rates) in the winter and from $47.62 (old rates) to $50.34 (new rates) during the summer.
These amounts do not include NM Governmental Gross Receipts Tax and Franchise Fees, which do not go to the Water Authority. With these amounts included, the average bill will see a monthly increase of approximately $3 or $36 a year. Including GRT and Franchise Fees, the average domestic bill in the winter would go from $49.73 to $52.77 and in the summer from $54.20 to $57.23.
The rate increase will add about $6 million to the Water Authority’s capital budget for infrastructure renewal, bringing it to about $64.1 million for FY2018. In comparison, capital spending was $33 million in 2004 when the Water Authority was created. The utility has ramped up its capital program over the last several years to meet its infrastructure renewal needs, with a focus over the past five years on a $250 million overhaul of the community’s Southside Water Reclamation (i.e., sewage treatment) Plant. That project is now about halfway to completion.
If approved, the rate increase will go into effect on July 1 and be reflected in customers’ August bills.
Even with the rate increase, Water Authority residential customers will continue to enjoy monthly water bills that are about 54% less on average than those in Rio Rancho and 37% less than those in Santa Fe.
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