The City Council recently adopted a new water and wastewater rate that goes into effect Dec. 1.
Water customers will see the rate change in the bills they receive in January.
Mayor Richard Newton said the changes should have little impact on most water bills.
“It depends on how much water you use,” Newton said, referring to the restructuring of rates. “Low water users will a see a few dollars increase a month. The high water users will see a slight decrease.”
The City Council adopted the new rate at its Nov. 15 meeting.
Restructuring the tiered water rate was a Council priority that was addressed by candidates running for three positions in last May’s election.
The May 17 election led to three incumbents being ousted: In the mayor’s race, Richard Newton defeated incumbent David Kelly; Place 1 councilwoman Tammy Nakamura defeated incumbent Carol Wollin; and Place 2 councilman Bobby Lindamood defeated incumbent Chuck Mogged.
“Water rates became a significant campaign issue,” Newton said.
The rate structure includes a flat volumetric rate of $4.17 per 1,000 gallons and a varied base rate depending on the size of the water meter. Most residences have a 1-inch meter or smaller, which has a $14.01 base rate.
When the new council took office, a tiered rate was in effect that ranged from $4.36 per 1,000 gallons to $6.54, depending on water usage.
The wastewater rate is comprised of a volumetric rate of $2.31 per 1,000 gallons for both residential and non-residential properties and a base rate of $12.54 for residential and $18.54 for non-residential customers.
The rate structure includes a fixed base charge that covers the city’s cost of utility operations and maintenance. The variable portion of the rate is the charge set by the Trinity River Authority per 1,000 gallons of water.
The rate structure design reduces Colleyville’s risk by allowing the city to recover the costs of operating the utility system independent of the amount of water used.
The mayor said the city hired a consultant to analyze the cost of the city’s operation and cost of running the city water and wastewater utility systems.
The City Council then established a citizen committee charged with recommending a restructured rate.
“The committee did a super job,” Newton said. “They did excellent work looking at all the financial aspects.”
The mayor added that using citizens to gain input is something that goes back to his campaign promise of “more transparency” in Colleyville government and having more openness in seeing “where the money goes.”
The rate will generate the same amount of utility fund revenue approved in the fiscal year 2017 budget. The 2017 water and wastewater revenues are projected at $14.5 million, which aligns with the committee’s estimated required revenue for water and distribution costs.
The practice of funding utility capital infrastructure projects with cash will not change and the city will use continue to use available money in the utility fund balance for the next several years.
“This did not affect the utility fund one iota,” Newton said.
Water rate base charge per month for in-city customers:
▪ Water meters 1 inch or less $14.01
▪ Water meters of 1.5 inches $28.01
▪ Water meters of 2 inches $44.82
▪ Water meters of 3 inches $84.04
▪ Water meters of 4 inches $140.06
Water rate base charge per month for out-of-city customers:
▪ Water meters 1 inch or less $18.01
▪ Water meters of 1.5 inches $32.01
▪ Water meters of 2 inches $48.82
▪ Water meters of 3 inches $88.04
▪ Water meters of 4 inches $144.06