No Rate Increase for Water Authority Customers in FY22
APRIL 28, 2021–Water and sewer rates for Albuquerque/Bernalillo County will remain unchanged under the FY2022 budget presented this month to the Water Authority’s governing board. This will mark the fourth consecutive budget year without a rate increase. Other fees (e.g., expansion charges for new development) will hold steady as well.
“We are committed to holding rates steady and affordable for Water Authority customers as we enter the later stage of the pandemic,” said board Chair and County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada. “The budget for fiscal year 2022 allows us to do that while maintaining our focus on infrastructure renewal and serving our customers.”
He added that favorable interest rates and the utility’s triple-A bond rating will help to keep borrowing costs low for the $80.4 million in capital projects budgeted for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1. More than a quarter of the capital spending will go toward rehabilitation of the Southside Water Reclamation Plant, which treats all of the community’s sewage and which is nearing the end of a 10-year, $250 million overhaul.
Water Authority staff presented the FY22 budget, which anticipates $239.3 million in operating costs, for first reading at the board’s April 21 meeting. A final vote is scheduled for the board’s next meeting on May 19.
Water Authority customers last saw a rate increase in July of 2017. Costs for water and sewer service in the utility’s service area remain among the lowest in the region when compared to cities such as Tucson, Denver, Austin, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe.