The Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board of Directors (BOD) will hold a final public hearing on December 12, 2017, to approve a Water and Wastewater rate increase that will take effect January 1, 2018. The increase is part of a long-range comprehensive financial plan that was first initiated in March 2016 and partially funded by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). The plan recommends a five-year phased implementation that accounts for five years of operations and maintenance (O&M) costs and a ten-year capital improvement plan. The ten-year capital improvement plan lays out all long-term infrastructure needs for the Utilities Department. The intent of the plan is to ensure the Utilities Department has sufficient revenues for the ongoing functions of the water and wastewater enterprises.
Inflation-induced increases in O&M costs, aging infrastructure, and long-term planning were all factors covered in the long-term financial plan. The Utilities Department presented the increases to the Board of Directors at over a half dozen Board Meetings over the past two years. Examples of projects to receive funding include: a gravity sewer main that serves Tract 220 and the large lot on the northwest corner of Highway 50 and McCulloch Boulevard, a lift station and force main at States Avenue Industrial Park, the rebuild of a pressure zone on Tract 251, a two million gallon water tank on the north side, and wastewater treatment plant upgrades, in addition to dozens of smaller capital projects.
On June 27, 2017, the BOD opened a public hearing on the planned increases for 2017. Public comments were heard during each regular public Board Meeting while the hearing was open. The public hearing culminated on August 8, 2017, when the Pueblo West Board of Directors passed Resolution No. 2017-44. The resolution adopted the five-year plan for modifications to Appendix A of the Pueblo West Metropolitan District’s Rules and Regulations for Water and Wastewater Rates. As a result, on September 1, 2017, the first phase of the rate increase went into effect resulting in an increase of approximately 4.6% for an average single-family monthly bill for both water and wastewater. On January 1, 2018, the second rate adjustment will take place with an estimated increase of 4.7% for an average single-family monthly bill. The remainder of the plan adjustments are intended to take effect on January 1st of each year through 2021 after the public hearing. The water and sewer Plant Investment Fees (PIF) saw a one-time increase on September 1, 2017, and the district does not anticipate adjusting the PIF again within the five-year plan.
The Pueblo West Utilities Department is hosting a community meeting on Wednesday, November 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the Training Room at Fire Station #3 (729 E. Gold Drive) to answer questions from the public about the five-year water and wastewater rate plan. We encourage residents to attend and engage our staff.
(read the full Water and Waste Water Appendix A changes here): http://www.pueblowestmetro.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1261).