Washington City Council approves water rate increase

Stock image, St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY – Washington City residents will soon notice an increase on their water bills as a result of the City Council approving a rate increase Wednesday.

They won’t be the only ones in the county with increased rates, however. Seven other cities will also likely be raising their own rates – if they haven’t already – to compensate for the increasing wholesale cost of water supplied through the Washington County Water Conservancy District.

Stock image | St. George News

As it did last year, the water district is set to increase the wholesale cost of water by 10 cents per every 1,000 gallons. This will bring the current rate from 94 cents to $1.04 for the cities which receive water from the Washington County Water Conservancy District. The increase is generally passed on to municipal water users to help their respective cities cover the cost.

“All we’re trying to do is cover our cost we’re paying to the district,” Public Works Director Mike Shaw said.

The council approved a 6-cent rate increase Wednesday that is estimated to add another $1.10-$1.20 to residential utility bills.

The average Washington City home with a 5/8 meter uses between 28,000-30,000 gallons per month, Shaw said. Within that level of use, residents will be paying $1.60 per every 1,000 gallons. That cost is added to the city’s base water rate of $18.25.

The Washington County Water Conservancy District supplies Washington City with 44 percent of its water, Shaw said. That percentage has increased over the years as the city’s populations has increased, he said.

Stock image, St. George News

The city is currently looking at ways to increase the capacity of its water treatment plant in order to add to its city-owned water sources, Shaw said.

Revenues collected by the Washington County Water Conservancy District from the increase will be used exclusively to cover the costs related to treatment and deliver water; it will not be used to fund current or future projects, according to water district officials.

The water district’s board of trustees, of which Washington City mayor Ken Neilson is a member, approved the wholesale rate increase earlier this month. It goes into effect July 1.

Previous to last year, the water district’s most recent whole rate increase was in March 2008, Since then water sales have increased 30 percent, utility costs have increased 6 percent and the weighted cost of treatment chemicals has increased 32 percent.

Other cities impacted by the increasing rates include St. George, Hurricane, Ivins, Santa Clara, Toquerville, LaVerkin and Virgin.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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3 Comments

  • Proud Rebel May 25, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    This is just a drop in the bucket as to what we all will have to pay, if we have to pay for the pipeline. Better get used to it.
    Meanwhile, area seniors who are on fixed incomes, can go from bathing once a week, to bathing once every two weeks, and eventually to bathing once a month…
    Meanwhile, the fat cats at the water district are always trying to figure a way to get more! More! MORE!

    • comments May 25, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      That’s my thoughts. And it won’t just be water rate increase to fund the pipe–that wouldn’t begin to cover it. They’ll be trolling around for all kinds of revenue sources and tax increases–anything from property taxes, to sales taxes, heck they might even slap a fee on vehicle registrations, and likely things I haven’t even imagined yet, I’m sure. A project that massive needs to be taken over by the feds or possibly even the state. I’d be surprised if these greedy yocals pushing it on us would even have a clue, when it actually comes time to build it, let alone fund it.

  • utahdiablo May 26, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Yes people on fixed monthly budgets with no cost of living increases in the retirement get screwed here in southern Utah every year as to Property taxes going up 10 – 20% to fund schools that they the seniors have no children in, then a constant increase in water rates, electricty rates, food & fuel inflation, and on and on…nothing but pure greed here

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