Loveland councilors to decide water rate increase tonight


From the Loveland Reporter-Herald (Tom Hacker):

After endless hours of study by the Loveland Utilities Commission, and three evenings of City Council review at study sessions, the question of how high to ratchet city water rates likely will be settled Tuesday. The expected result will mean average monthly water bills for home and business owners will more than double by 2022, part of a package that will fund nearly $50 million in water system improvements…

What councilors will consider on Tuesday is a hybrid, a plan that includes:

A 20-year external loan, taking advantage of historically low interest rates, to raise $10 million of the projects’ costs and make it immediately available.

An eight-year, $6 million loan to the water utility from its electric power twin, to be repaid partly with an annual appropriation of $750,000 from the city’s general fund.

Rate increases that will begin at 13 percent in 2014, shrink to 9 percent from 2015 to 2019, and to 8 percent from 2020 to 2022. The average monthly residential water bill would climb from $24.25 this year, to slightly more than $53 in 10 years. For business customers, the average bill would rise from $78.56 to more than $182.

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