Sewer bills rising in Glenwood

Dennis WebbGlenwood Springs correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS For the second year in a row, rates are going up for Glenwood Springs water and sewer customers.City Council on Thursday increased rates as part of a multi-year plan to bring them in line with the city’s cost for providing those services.Council soon may be looking at raising electric rates for the same reason.For now, it decided to raise water rates by 10 percent and sewer rates by 20 percent – the same amounts it boosted those rates last year. The rate changes take effect in April.Water customers will be charged $8.47 a month, along with $1.45 per thousand gallons for the first 5,500 gallons, with higher consumption rates for higher usages.City residents will pay a monthly minimum bill of $25.56 for sewer, up from $21.30, also with higher rates for higher usage.City manager Jeff Hecksel said an electrical system rate study has been completed. He’s anticipating the city may implement a small increase in the electricity rate, with no immediate need for further increases.The electrical system has produced surpluses over the years and hasn’t required rate increases, but Hecksel said those surpluses are diminishing. The city isn’t trying to generate surpluses in its utilities, but simply wants them to break even, he said.The water and sewer rate hikes have been aimed at making those utilities pay their own way rather than continue to rely on city sales tax revenues as well. Hecksel said more rate increases are planned in future years, although the plan will be reassessed each year to make sure they are warranted.