In a 7 (yes) to 1 (no) vote (Councilmember Matt Johnston), City Council approved changes to water rates, a water treatment plant fee to finance the non-growth related costs of the project, and enhancements to the City’s Customer Assistance Program.
The reset of water rates will consist of a 9.11-percent increase to water rates to re-establish rates that were in place in 2019. This approved rate reset will be effective starting July 1, 2022. In 2020, water rates were decreased by 8-percent. Prior to that, rates had not increased since 2017. The decrease was intended to be temporary to spend down reserves, and those reserves have been spent. Rates need to be reset in order for the utility to operate in a financially sustainable way.
The water treatment plant fee will start at $6 a month (for a single family home with a standard meter), effective January 1, 2023. This fee will finance the operational (non-growth) costs of constructing the new water treatment plant. The new water treatment plant will replace the City’s current water treatment plant, which is more than 25 years old, and will address its inability to meet the water needs of current and future residents. The new plant will double the capacity of the existing plant and will be funded in part by contributions from developers and by the water treatment plant fee paid by current users. The new plant is set to break ground in July of 2022 and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025.
The average single-family home that uses approximately 4,000 gallons of water in the winter would see about an increase of about $8.48 per month. In summer, the average household that uses 14,500 gallons of water, would see a $13 increase per month.
The City’s Customer Assistance Program provides financial support to income-qualified customers needing assistance paying their water bill. Click here for more info on the program.
To help encourage water conservation and efficiency, the City of Brighton has several programs to help achieve that goal and offset water costs, like offering a credit to customers who reduce their water consumption by at least 20-percent. See the available programs here.
For more information about the water rate reset and the water treatment plant fee, please visit the Water FAQ page. To learn more about the new water treatment plant, click here.
If you need assistance in reducing your water consumption, please contact the City’s Water Conservation Specialist, Louis Morris, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about the water rate reset, the water treatment plant fee or the City’s Customer Assistance Program, please contact Utility Billing at 303-655-2009.