Hayden Town Council to consider raising utility rates | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden Town Council to consider raising utility rates

— The Hayden Town Council on Thursday night will consider raising monthly water rates in Hayden by 71 percent and sewer rates by 29 percent next year.

If approved by the Town Council, Hayden's water and sewer customers will see their base water rate increase by $19.06 to $45.62 per month and sewer rates increase by $3.20 to $15.20 per month starting Jan. 1.

Hayden Town Manager David Torgler said Wednesday that the utilities require subsidies from the town's general fund to operate and that the rate increases will allow them to become self-sustaining. He said the proposed rate increases are the second phase of a two-phase rate increase the town approved in 2010 to eliminate budget shortfalls.

Hayden last year increased its water rates 40 percent from $19 to $26.60 and its sewer rates nearly 100 percent from $6.06 to $12 as part of the first phase.

"It's not that we're trying to pump up any type of profit; this is just going to make it so these funds run in the black," Torgler said.

Specifically, Torgler said the water rate increase would allow the town to spend about $208,000 on capital projects that include street and road maintenance. He said revenue from the increased sewer rates will go toward a $550,000 state-mandated project that will redirect the town's sewer treatment plant outfall pipe from Dry Creek to the Yampa River.

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If the ordinance raising the utility rates is approved Thursday, it will come up for a second reading Dec. 13 following a public hearing.

Oak Creek residents pay a flat rate of $46 per month for water and $47.23 for sewer, according to Deputy Town Clerk Vivian Johnson. The base water rate in Steamboat Springs this year is $17.12 per month, and the base sewer rate is $29.25.

Torgler said that water and sewer operations in Hayden will cost about $1.8 million next year and that the proposed rate increases would result in a profit of $60.

Also at Thursday's meeting, the council will hold a first reading of its proposed 2012 budget. Torgler said the $3.7 million budget is $835,000 larger than Hayden's 2011 budget. Added expenses include $125,000 to repaint the town's water tank, $100,000 for street repair projects and $550,000 for the state-mandated outfall project, he said.

Torgler said in addition to a part-time police officer, the proposed budget would add two part-time employees who would work at Town Hall and the Hayden Public Works Department.

— To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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