Water and sewer rates rise annually by 2.5% — not 5%, says Rifle City Attorney

An effort to maintain fair and equitable water and sewer fees in Rifle hit a bit of an ineffectual snag this past week.

On paper, the city said it was accidentally increasing its water rates by an annual 5%, but in reality it’s really only charging 2.5% more to residents each year, Rifle City Attorney Jim Neu said.

The blunder was unanimously approved and fixed to reflect the actual 2.5% annual increase at the Jan. 4 City Council meeting.

“As the city was preparing to update its utility fees for the new year, there was some debate among staff on what that increase was going to be,” Neu said. “It’s been codified at 5% for years and years and years.”

That is, until the city underwent a capital improvement study in 2021, which eventually recommended different amounts of escalation: 4.2% for sewer and 2.5% for water.

City documents show, however, the annual rate subsiding to a 1% increase by 2029.

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