Steamboat Springs The Mount Werner Water and Sanitation District Board of Directors will consider an increase to usage fees when it meets July 21.
If approved, the increase would cost single-family homeowners an average of about $16 annually, based on a sampling of homes in the district, General Manager Jay Gallagher said Thursday. Commercial customers also would see a usage increase. It would take effect Jan. 1. The annual base rate of $87.36 for residential and commercial customers would not change.
Mount Werner Water serves Steamboat Springs customers south of Fish Creek.
Gallagher said the usage fee increase would generate about $100,000 a year to cover inflation since current rates went into effect in January 2007. He added that it would help Mount Werner Water pay for an additional maintenance worker the district added in 2008 and the ongoing replacement of older infrastructure.
If the board approves the increase, Gallagher said Mount Werner Water’s rates would remain among the lowest in Colorado, including other resort communities and customers served by the city of Steamboat Springs.
“We’re serving our customers the best we can and trying to offer them good value,” he said.
Mount Werner Water has a tier structure for assessing usage fees, the lowest of which would change should the board approve the increase. It would be lowered from 95 cubic meters to 75 cubic meters per quarter, in part to encourage users to conserve water, Gallagher said.
There are 264.17 gallons in a cubic meter.
If the usage fee increase is approved, the cost per cubic meter would increase to 28 cents from 23 cents for up to 75 cubic meters used per quarter. The cost per cubic meter would increase to 45 cents for water consumed per quarter between 75 and 420 cubic meters. It would increase to 90 cents for usage in excess of 420 cubic meters per quarter.
Gallagher said usage rates in the summer typically increase for most homeowners because of irrigation.
The new rate for commercial customers would increase 10 cents to 42 cents per cubic meter a quarter.
Gallagher said for a small free-standing restaurant that uses 397 cubic meters per quarter, or about 35,000 gallons per month, the usage fee increase would be about $159 annually.
The board is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. July 21 at the Fish Creek Filtration Plant, 3310 Clear Water Trail. For more information, call Mount Werner Water at 970-879-2424 or visit www.mwwater.com.
To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com