Glenwood Springs water rates to increase June 1

Glenwood Springs residents will see their water usage rates go up beginning June 1.

The Glenwood Springs City Council passed a resolution which will adjust rates for all customers during their April 15 council meeting.

The rate change will appear on water bills arriving in July.

“Responsible investment in maintaining and improving our water infrastructure is critical to providing quality water service for residents and businesses and minimizes overall costs,” said Public Works Director, Matt Langhorst, in a news release. “This action will support our ability to continue providing reliable drinking water, wastewater and fire protection for the entire city and reduce risk of service interruptions.”

A 5,000-gallon user’s monthly combined bill will increase in year one from $92 to $122.

The resolution also includes a regular, yearly 5% increase until 2030, according to the release.

Water rates in Glenwood Springs have remained the same since 2015.

“Current utility revenues will not cover the cost for critical infrastructure improvements, some of which are immediately necessary to ensure safe and reliable service,” the release states. “Other capital needs primarily include replacement or rehabilitation of utility assets reaching the end of their service lives and additional storage capacity for firefighting capabilities.”

The city’s water and sewer fund operates on system improvement fees and user fees.

“Currently, water department revenues only pay for annual costs, bonding, and depreciation,” the release states.

Funding for capital projects currently comes from city reserves, low interest loans and competitive grants.

“With the ballooning cost of construction and a significant list of important projects, our community should take advantage of low interest rates now to minimize overall costs. But, without this adjustment, we would not be able to apply for those funds competitively because we do not have sufficient debt service coverage,” Langhorst said.

Langhort said that in order to secure further low-interest financing, the city must be able to demonstrate to lenders, bondholders and credit rating agencies that they’ve adopted a multi-year schedule of rates to support the debt.

The city began a water rate study in 2020 to assess the immediate options for updating water rates.

“It was determined to postpone the rate increase discussion to mitigate burden on residents and businesses during the pandemic,” the release states.

Upcoming or in-progress city water projects include:

• A new raw water pump line from the Roaring Fork Pump station up to the Red Mountain water plant

• Replacement of the lift station adjacent to the Colorado River, which is over 40 years old

• Red Mountain South subdivision water and roadway rebuild

• A second Cardiff water tank

• Restoring the Park East raw water irrigation system

• A city-wide water model to analyze distribution under various demands

• Sewer and/or water line repairs or replacements on more than 25 city streets

• A new North Glenwood water tank

• Review and repairs to all sewer lift stations and replacement of two of the remaining existing lift stations

Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or

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