Base water rates going up after Hurricane City Council approval

HURRICANE — The Hurricane City Council approved an increase in the base water rates for residential customers during its Thursday meeting.

Ken Richins, member of the Hurricane City Water Board, speaks before the Hurricane City Council, Hurricane, Utah, Nov. 21, 2019 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

By a vote of 4-1, the council approved the $1 rate hike, which is the first base-rate increase in Hurricane since 2012. The base rate for residential customers will be $16.50. The new rates will go into effect at the start of the new year on Jan. 1.

The Hurricane City Water Board cited the maintenance of current infrastructure, growth and the cost of water as reasons for the rate increase. 

While council members cited Hurricane’s rate being among the lowest in Washington County, the vote did not come without consternation from council members. There was a discernible delay between the motion for the vote and when it was seconded.

Councilman Kevin Tervort noted that property rates for residents are also going up at the start of the year.

“I have a hard time doing this,” Tervort said during the meeting, but then noted how low rates are in Hurricane compared to other nearby communities. “We don’t come close to charging people for water what others do.”

According to the Washington County Conservancy District, Hurricane residents inside the pressurized irrigation zone pay $37 per 15,000 gallons of water used. In comparison, St. George residents pay $38.87 and Washington City residents pay $39.72. 

Multifamily residential users in Hurricane served by a single meter will pay 69% of the base rate, while RV users will now pay 44% of the base rate. 

Councilman Kevin Tervort during the Nov. 21 Hurricane City Council meeting, Hurricane, Utah | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

Councilman Kevin Thomas, whose time on the council will shortly end after losing in the recent council election, was the lone dissenting vote for the rate increase.

Thomas said he’s not opposed to RV owners paying a higher share of the city’s water burden, but didn’t feel the same on rates overall.

“On the rate increase? No,” Thomas said.  

In other business, the council voted 4-1, with Thomas dissenting, to amend the city moderate income housing plan with state mandates and unanimously approved a $1,000 donation to the Five County Association of Governments’ senior companion and foster grandparent program.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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