Water and sewer rates poised to go up soon in Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs — Water and sewer customers in the city of Steamboat Springs will likely see their rates go up by a few bucks a month next year as the city starts to prepare for millions of dollars worth of infrastructure repairs and upgrades.
Commercial customers with larger water meters will see the biggest increases in their monthly bills.
The rate increases, which customers haven’t seen now for three years, would then gradually increase through 2019.
Under the city’s plan, residential water customers would see their monthly service charge go up by $2.42 a month in January.
Wastewater service charges would go up by $1.30 per month next year.
Water usage rates would also go up.
A full breakdown of the proposed rate changes was mailed out to customers with their November bills. See the rates below this story.
A recent study of the city’s rates and future water and wastewater infrastructure needs guided the proposal.
The Steamboat Springs City Council approved a first reading of the rate increases last month, but the changes are not final yet.
The council will hold a public hearing Nov. 15 before it considers approving the final reading of the changes.
Commercial water customers would also see significant changes under the city’s plan.
For the first time, the city would start charging different monthly service charges for different sizes of water meters.
Under the current system, a downtown T-shirt shop pays the same monthly service charge for water service as a school does, despite the fact they are using different sizes of meters.
The changes mean commercial water customers who have smaller water meters would see their base charges go down significantly, while users of larger meters would see the base charge go up.
For example, a commercial water customer who has a 1.5-inch water meter will see their monthly service charge almost double from the current $22.78 to $42.61.
The city is increasing rates to help pay for cost of service increases and infrastructure needs.
City officials expect they will have to make major capital improvements to the wastewater treatment plant in 2022.
New federal mandates coming down the pipeline are also contributing to the need for higher rates, City Finance Director Kim Weber said.
If the council approves the rate increases later this month, customers would see the new rates reflected in the bill they receive in early February.
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Though the city of Steamboat Springs saw a slight decline in 2020 sales tax revenue as COVID-19 hit Routt County, the city is expected to catch up to its 2019 revenues.