Thornton residents will experience an increase in water and sewer rates beginning Jan. 1.
City Council unanimously approved a 3 percent water and 6 percent sewer rate increases Nov. 13.
Thornton finance director Chuck Seest said both the sewer and water fees will flow into two designated sewer and water funds used to “maintain adequate cash reserves and debt service coverage based on expected future operating and capital costs.”
In all, he said the water fund increase will generate about $1 million in additional revenue, while the sewer fund increase will generate an additional $500,000.
Seest said water rates are increased every two years in response to customer demands, regulatory requirements and inflationary costs. He said the looming increase is lower than the recent 4 percent inflation measurements taken over the past two years.
While the ordinance will allow for a 3 percent water rate increase next year, no rate increases are reflected for 2014. Seest said this adjustment will result in a slight average summer residential water bill increase from $50.01 to $51.49 and an average winter residential water bill increase from $19.59 to $20.17.
The second part of the ordinance, which calls for a 6 percent sewer rate increase and no rate increase for solid waste, was attributed to an 8 percent rate increase imposed by the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District for treatment services charged to the city. Seest explained these sewer rates are adjusted annually based on rate increases charged by the wastewater treatment facility.
He said Metro Wastewater Reclamation District rate increases must be passed onto customers, because about 72 percent of the sewer fund’s operating costs is dedicated to paying these rates.
The projected 6 percent sewer rate adjustments and charges will result in an average residential sewer bill increase from $17.61 to $18.66.