Palmer Lake: 2012 budget includes a seven percent increase in water rates and includes a ten percent capital improvement fee

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From the Tri-Lakes Tribune (Norma Engelberg):

The council’s water trustee Max Stafford explained that, starting Jan. 1, a 7 percent increase will be added to the base rate every water customer pays regardless of their amount of usage.
“We’re sorry that people didn’t know about the increase but it isn’t a secret process — it is part of the budget process we go through every year,” he said. “We (the water fund) barely broke even in 2011 and we have a lot of expensive testing coming up in 2012. We have to prove to the state that the new plant performs as it was engineered.”

Stafford said that water bills will also include a 10 percent capital improvement fee.

“The capital improvement fund is based on water-tap sales but the town is basically built out and the fund is dwindling every year,” he said. “We have pipes that were installed in the 1930s and our dam is 100 years old. … It makes more sense to fix things as we go instead of waiting until they break.”[…]

He assured residents that water money stays in the water plant. “The water fund is not a cash cow for the town,” he said.

Another worry that has to be planned for is a continuous drop in the local water table. “Think of it as an underground river that more and more people are tapping into,” he said. “Our city well is 1,000 feet deep, almost at bedrock at the edge of the aquifer. If the underground river dries up, we’re going to feel it first.”

More infrastructure coverage here.

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