The Allen City Council on Tuesday adopted increased water and sewer rates to go into effect Nov. 1.
The water rate increase will result in an additional $8.33 per month for residential and $40.55 per month for commercial, based on a 10,000 gallon benchmark. The wastewater rate represents a $2.27 increase in the minimum charge for the first 1,500 gallons and a $2.81 increase to the minimum for commercial.
The increase is due to a number of factors, according to Assistant City Manager Rebecca Vice, chiefly wholesale rate increases by the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), including a 2.4 percent rate increase for water and a 19.5 percent rate increase for wastewater transport and treatment.
Vice said the wholesale costs increase represent 61 percent of water and sewer fund expenses; whereas in FY09, wholesale costs represented 39 percent of fund expenses.
The increase from the NTMWD can be broken down into three parts: 75 percent is due to regional service population growth and infrastructure; 17 percent is for maintaining, upgrading or replacing aging infrastructure; and 8 percent is due to regulatory requirements.
Some recent key NTMWD projects include the Lake Texoma Water Pipeline, the new lake and water plant in Fannin County, a new regional wastewater plant and others. These projects total nearly $3 billion.
“Our primary cost in this fund, which is water from the North Texas Municipal Water District, is going up. And this is not a surprise,” said Councilman Kurt Kizer. “The price of water is going to keep going up more than the rate of inflation, and again, not a whole lot that we can do to control that, but I don’t want people to by surprised when we’re going through the same discussion next year and the year after.”
Some of the city’s cost drivers include continuous growth in Allen, equipment purchase and tech improvements, federal risk assessment and response plan update and increasing costs of vehicle replacement and overall tech replacement. In addition the capital improvement project to replace old water and sewer infrastructure totals $65.6 million over the next 10 years.
A complete explanation of water and sewer rates can be found at cityofallen.org.