Aledo adjusting water rates

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

Some of the city of Aledo's 2011 budget items came to the table at Monday's Nov. 1, 2010 Aledo City Council meeting, including water and sewer rates and insurance.

Aledo City Administrator Janice Green said the recent water and sewer rate hikes have caused a bit of flack from city customers. "There is a lot of concern about our water rates gong so high," said Green.

Water and sewer rates more than doubled on customer's October billing statements, with the minimum charge, rising from $5.61 for the first 100 cubic feet of water usage, to $17.42, with any additional water rates at $5.65 per 100 cubic feet of water used, versus the $3.01 charged previously. Customers also saw a rate hike for sewer usage.

Green calculated the new water and sewer rates based on costs for operations and maintenance, debt service payments and depreciation.

Green presented two optional rates for the council to consider for the January 2011 billings.

The water and sewer rates have not changed since 2005. The average customer uses around 800 cubic feet of water each month.

The January 2011 rate options are 1) Lowering the rate to $9.36 for the first 100, with $4.65 for any water over or 2) $14.20 for the first 100 and $4.78 for the amount over.

Green said that option 1 would cover about 70 percent of the costs of the department, with the city potentially being able to get grants to fund the rest.

City council members held two budget workshops at the end of October, looking at ways to balance the budget. A budget hearing is set to take place at the Nov. 15 city council committee of the whole meeting, which starts at 6:15 p.m.

The proposed budget is for $6,257,391, down from last year's budget of $6,274,163. The budget is on display at city hall.