Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hailey?s water rates to change in July

Monthly base rate increases

Express Staff Writer

Hailey's new water

and wastewater rates

New metered charge for water consumption per 1,000 gallons:

Up to 30,000 $0.40

31,000 to 40,000 $0.50

41,000 to 50,000 $0.60

51,000 to 60,000 $0.90

61,000 to 70,000 $1.20

71,000 to 80,000 $1.50

81,000 to 90,000 $1.80

91,000 to 100,000 $2.10

101,000 to 150,000 $2.25

151,000 and above $2.50

New metered charge for wastewater consumption per 1,000 gallons:

From 1,000 and up $2.34

After voting to change the method of billing for residents' water consumption earlier this month, Hailey City Council members voted Monday, June 25, to increase the base rate for wastewater as well. The new billing schedule will be implemented for July's water consumption.

The new monthly base rates for both water and wastewater will increase by approximately $2 each. Water users will pay a base rate of $13.95 per month and $20.06 per month for wastewater. However, users with non-metered accounts will have a higher wastewater rate of $34.15. A portion of all of charges goes to paying water and wastewater bonds, with the remainder paying for system maintenance and operation.

City Council members agreed that the current rate, which takes into account both consumption and size of connection to the water system, is unfair and, therefore, required alteration.

City Engineer Tom Hellen, who devised the new method of billing, said the new system will be much more equitable, as everyone will be paying the same rate for consumption. However, the flat monthly rate was increased in order to avoid a negative impact on the city's water budget.

The council said it hopes the increased cost for high volume use will encourage conservation. In a cost analysis of the new ordinance provided by Hellen, users who average around 30,000 gallons per month will be able to reduce their water bill, while those consuming over 50,000 will pay slightly more. The changes will apply to all users, including single and multi-family residences and commercial consumers.

The council voted to make the new rate effective for July's water billing, giving the city a month to inform water users of the change.

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