MEEKER I The Meeker Town Board raised water rates Tuesday night at a level slightly higher than had initially been proposed.
The present board members, with Danny Conrado and Rodney Gerloff absent, adopted Plan B of the resolution because of the potential the town faces for major repairs, infrastructure improvements and the possibility of having to install a water purification plant in the not too distant future.
The last rate increase came in 2008, when the board went from a rate of 85 cents per 1,000 gallons over the base rate to $1.
Board members John Strate, Scott Creasy and Bryce Ducey said they chose to go with Plan B and that even with the slightly larger increase, the rates are still considerably cheaper than most other towns in Colorado of roughly the same size that had been examined.
Under the new rate structure, the base rate of $24 for the first 8,000 gallons will remain unchanged for in-town consumers.
From the 8,001 to 15,000 gallons, the rate goes to $1.55 per each additional 1,000 gallons; from 15,001 to 30,000 gallons, the rate is $1.75 per additional 1,000 gallons; from 30,001 gallons to 50,000 gallons the rate rises an additional $2 per 1,000 gallons; and for those who use more than 50,001 gallons, the rate is an additional $2.50 per 1,000 gallons.
Meeker Town Administrator Scott Meszaros said the chief reasons for the increases are major projects the town could face with its water system, which has not had a lot of major maintenance in the past several years, and because of the threat of losing state Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) grant money as DOLA was the agency that told Meeker it should be raising rates to allow the town to be able to take care of the system in the future.
Meszaros said another hope is that some of the largest consumers will be more conscientious of using so much water, noting that there are private households in Meeker that use only 4,000 or 5,000 gallons per month during the winter but that consumption can increase to 300,000 gallons or more during summer because of excess lawn watering.
The rates for out-of-town users rose sharply, but, Meszaros said, those rates are still much lower than the other towns that serve out-of-town users. He said there are some towns that will not serve out-of-town and that Meeker is not required to deliver water outside town limits.
Those rates will be: $48 for the base charge up to $8,000 gallons; from 8,001 to 15,000 gallons, cost will be an addition $3.60 per 1,000 gallons; from 15,001 to 30,000 gallons, the cost will be an additional $3.90 per 1,000 gallons; from 30,001 to 50,000 gallons will be an added $4.05 per 1,000 gallons; and over 50,001 gallons, the cost will be an additional $5.25 per 1,000 gallons.
“Rates will take effect immediately and will be implemented in the next months billing cycle,” Meszaros said, adding that February is historically the year’s lowest month for water consumption.