Ridgway council okays water and sewer rate hike (first reading)

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From The Telluride Watch (Gus Jarvis):

The Ridgway Town Council on Wednesday, Sept. 9 passed the first reading of an ordinance that raises both water and sewer rates over a three-year period in order to get the two operations financially sustainable. Sewer rates for users within town are currently $18 per month. That amount will increase to $25 on Jan. 1, 2010, and then increase by $5 for the next two years, making the monthly rate $35 by 2012.

For single-family homes, the ordinance will raise the current water rate of $22 a month to $27 in January. It will then increase in $5 increments, making the rate $32 in 2011 and $37 by 2012…

While the town needs to bring the two utility enterprises into the black, making them sustainable will also allow the town to pursue funding for its failing waterline infrastructure. Currently, town staff is pursuing outside funding from the Department of Local Affairs and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the town-wide replacement of the polybutylene water lines. The submittal requirements for the ARRA funding include proof by the town that the utility enterprise is sustaining itself from a revenue standpoint and will continue to do so to adequately absorb the debt service (0 percent) financing. The approved first reading of the ordinance, is, according to Clifton, “hopeful proof that the town’s utility will have sufficient revenues through time to cover these [financial] costs” in order to get the ARRA loans.

The rate-raising ordinance could go before council for final approval at its Oct. 14 meeting.

More infrastructure coverage here.

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