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City wants increase in fees for water, sewer, sanitation

Apr 11, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The City of Riverton is proposing an increase of $3.11 to the average family's monthly utility bill.

The plan was announced Tuesday during a council work session.

Every year the city is required to adjust its rates in accordance with the national consumer price index, currently calculated at 1.1 percent.

Officials also proposed the increase for commercial users in the city . Action on both increases will require council approval later this month. R32;Acting public services director Dawn Willhelm outline the various fund revenues for the city.

The city expects to collect about $2.6 million in the water fund through June 2014. Expenditures were projected at roughly $1.7 million.

She pointed out that the Riverview Road, South Federal Boulevard and Riverton Water Supply projects so far have cost the city about $3.5 million. By June, the city is expected to have paid a total of about $5 million. This fund did rely on some grant funding.

Wastewater fund behind

The wastewater fund could need more help in stabilizing its debt, Willhelm said. It brought in a revenue of about $1.8 million, and expenditures were calculated at $1.3 million. This fund had little support with grants compared to the water fund, Willhelm said.

So far, the Riverview Road, South Federal Boulevard and Riverview Improvement projects have cost the city about $530,000. By June, the costs are expected to rise another $800,000 more for a total of about $1.3 million. That would leave a debt in the fund at about $660,000.

Willhelm said the fund is "severely depleted," and a proposed increase of an additional 5.9 percent, aside from the index of 1.1 percent, would bring about $130,000 for the city.

"It's not going to cover what we are down, but we felt (a) higher increase would be detrimental," she said. "It will allow us, I think, to have three years to maybe recoup that."

The sanitation fund didn't have any capital projects or grants for reimbursement. The purchase of a truck and changes in the fleet did cost the city about $67,000. The 1.1 percent increase in the water fund would bring in about $29,000 and about $26,000 to the sanitation fund.

Willhelm's report showed an average use of 8,000 gallons of water, with a 90-gallon rollout container without recycling being billed at approximately $100.82. The proposed increased would raise that bill to $103.93.

Bulk water charges

She said the city also would propose an increase for using the city's bulk-fill water station because it had been about 15 years since the last increase. She said it is used mostly by contractors and out-of-town residents who own cisterns.

"There's really no residential use of it per se," she said.

The current cost is 25 cents for 125 gallons. Willhelm proposed a rate of 25 cents for 70 gallons. The purchase of new equipment could allow the use of debit cards for payment as opposed to coins. She said that Lander charges 25 cents for 50 gallons.

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