Sterling: Costs for new treatment plant to push rates through the roof

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From the Sterling Journal Advocate (Forrest Hershberger):

[Tom Ullmann of The Engineering Company] said without the new water system, the city will need a rate increase of about 9 percent over the next couple of years. However, with the cost of a new water treatment plant, that number skyrockets to as much as 190 percent. Since 2008, the city has had a growth in water customers of about .15 percent and water plant investments of about $35,000, equal to about 28 new taps. The inflation rate shown by Ullmann to the city council indicates labor costs for the city’s water treatment plant have gone down slightly, about 1.33 percent. Meanwhile, power costs have gone up just above 7 percent. The real increase can be attributed to the EPA and state health department, Ullmann said — testing, at an increase of 15 percent. The new plant is expected to cost more than $27 million. Additionally, chemicals for city water treatment are estimated to cost about $500,000, and labor $250,000. Ullmann said the average monthly water bill for Sterling residents is $21 per 10,000 gallons used. By 2012, that cost needs to average $61 per 10,000 gallons consumed. He said in comparison, Fort Morgan residents are paying about $56 per 10,000 gallons.

More water treatment coverage here.

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