Washington City raises water rate to cover cost of infrastructure upkeep

Stock image, St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY – An increase in the city’s culinary water rates was approved by the Washington City Council during its last meeting of the year Wednesday. Estimated to be a $2 increase for average water users, the increase is slated to cover needed improvement and upkeep of existing water infrastructure.

“(The cost) is based on projected improvements that need to be done to our facilities,” Public Works Director Mike Shaw told the council.

Watering the garden, St. George, Utah, June 16, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

As an example, Shaw said, a few years back the city had to go through the old part of town and replace all of the old water system to bring it up to date. Part of what necessitated replacing the aging infrastructure in that part of town was it producing three to four leaks a week.

“That’s what this fee goes to cover,” he said.

According to data presented to the council, the average Washington City household with a 5/8 inch-by-3/4 inch water meter currently pays around $33.95 per month for water. The new rate will bring that up to around $35.99 a month, an increase of $2.04.

The average water use for a city residence is estimated to be around 13,000 gallon per month, Shaw said.

The rate increase was unanimously approved by the City Council and is the second water rate increase passing this year.

In May the council approved an increase estimated to add another $1.10 and $1.20 to residential utility bills. This increase was passed to cover an increase in the wholesale price of water the city buys from the Washington County Conservancy District.

Read more: Washington City Council approves water rate increase

Residents should begin to see the new rate increase by the next billing cycle, Shaw said.

While the average monthly cost will jump to $2, the base rate city residents with 5/8 inch-by-3/4 inch meters pay will largely remain the same with a slight decease from $18.25 to $18.17.

Washington City Public Works Director Mike Shaw addresses the City Council concerning a proposed water rate hike to help cover the upkeep and improvement of current water infrastructure, Washington City, Utah, Dec. 13, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

In other business, the City Council accepted a road dedication plat for property deeded to the city by the State Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

The property deeded to the city will allow for the eventual construction of a road connecting Washington Parkway on the west side of Interstate 15 Exit 13 to the northern part of the Green Springs Drive.

Connecting the roads could take around two years once the city gets funding approved for the project, Shaw said. The city has already applied for funding through the Dixie Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The road would help alleviate a tiny bit of the traffic congestion at the notorious Green Springs intersection off Exit 10, Shaw said, adding it would just be a 1 percent to 2 percent decrease initially.

“But as we grow in that area, it could be quite substantial,” he said.

Main Street will also tie into Washington Parkway at some future point, Shaw added, though noting that connection would be paid for by future development in the area.

The council also bid farewell to outgoing council members Garth Nisson and Kurt Ivie. Both men were defeated in the recent election by newcomers Daniel Cluff and Douglas Ward who will be sworn in next year.

It’s been an honor and a privilege to work on the council the last four years,” Nisson said. “It’s been a great experience.”

Nisson said serving the city and its residents has been a high point for him. He served a single term on the council, having been elected in 2013.

Ivie, who was appointed to the council earlier this year to finish the term of former Councilman Thad Seegmiller, was emotional as he also expressed his thanks to being able to serve on the council.

“I just want to thank everyone for the opportunity to serve,” Ivie said. “It’s been a privilege. I’m a better man for it.”

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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

 

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5 Comments

  • utahdiablo December 14, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Hope you enjoy your Christmas present water increase Washington City water users! …only the 2nd increase in a year! That’s what happens when no one goes to the public meetings…you get what you deserve…and out going members? Good riddance

    • Sapphire December 15, 2017 at 9:49 am

      There are places in the US (some near major rivers) that pay $100 and more a month just for an apartment or small house. So it is still a bargain compared to other parts of the US.

  • xbcmc059 December 15, 2017 at 9:16 am

    I’d gladly pay three times this amount if the City of Washington fixed the condition of the existing roadways. A drive down Green Springs will shake the fillings out of your teeth.

  • JOSH DALTON December 15, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    WHATEVER! Lets just build another golf course! then water it everyday! BS! BS! BS! Oh yeah, not to mention the proposed water park they are going to build. I thought there was a huge under ground water source less than 10ft below us. Digging wells for Geotherm we hit water all the time! GO FALCONS!

  • Redbud December 15, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    As a resident, I consider it an honor and a privilege now that I’m paying more on my utility bills. I have prayed and fasted that my water, electric, and gas bill skyrocket to the point of being barely affordable. May we all cherish the increased rate, and give great thanks to our elected leaders for this wonderful accomplishment!

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