New Castle hikes its water, sewer rates thanks to ongoing recession
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colorado – The town council here on Tuesday gave its approval to an increase in both water and sewer fees, largely in response to the ongoing recession.
Water fees will rise by $1.50 per month across the board, mainly to cover a shortfall in revenues and increased operating costs, said Town Administrator Andy Barton.
The larger increase will be in the fees for sewer service, which will rise by $6.50 per month per customer.
The added revenue is needed in large part to pay off loans used for a new, $8.5 million wastewater treatment plant, built in 2009, Barton said.
The town did not built a combined water/wastewater treatment plant, as reported in the Dec. 6 edition.
In 2008, when the planning was underway for the new plant, Barton said, officials expected the debt to be repaid with revenues from sewer-tap fees as the town continued to grow.
Barton explained that the ongoing national recession yanked the bottom out from under the local housing boom.
Although the town has trimmed budgets and staff over the past couple of years, Barton explained, the town still needs additional revenue to pay off the sewer-plant million debt at a rate of $500,000 per year.
He noted that the town’s voters approved a bond issue in 2008 to fund an upgrade to the water treatment plant, but that project was eliminated due to the recession.
He said town residents will be getting information about the rate hikes along with their January utility bills.
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