Rate hikes take effect for water and sewage

The increases began on Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year
The city council approved the rate hike during budget discussions earlier this year.
The city council approved the rate hike during budget discussions earlier this year.(KCBD)
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 11:09 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2021 at 11:49 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Next month your City of Lubbock Utilities bill might be a little higher. Not because of the electricity but most likely due to the water and sewer charges usually included along with it.

The base rate for water has increased by .50 cents (now $19) and the base rate for wastewater has also increased by .05 cents (now $16.55) after they were approved by city council during budget discussions.

“We’re very, very careful about suggesting rate changes to the city council because it literally affects everyone in town,” City Manager Jarrett Atkinson said.

Atkinson tells KCBD the City hasn’t approved a rate increase for water since 2018 and wastewater since 2019.

The changes are expected to produce an increased revenue of $2.8 million from water and $280,000 from wastewater.

“This was the minimum that we could do and get covered what we need to. It’s going to leave us in good shape,” Atkinson explained.

The base rates are the only thing that is changing, and it’s the same for all customers across the board.

It’s less than 10 extra dollars a year, six dollars for water and 65 cents for wastewater.

Atkinson says the increases were necessary to maintain a growing population, and thus a larger infrastructure.

“Growth is a challenge,” he said, “the system’s physically bigger, we’re going to add four [employees] on the water side.”

The increases also are due to an increase in prices overall.

“Just like most of us, even in our personal lives, our cost of doing business, our cost for energy, our cost for chemicals, things like that have gone up. This was needed to help cover that,” he said.

There are also several capital projects planned for the city’s water and wastewater systems, in general to upkeep with regular maintenance.

Thirty-two million dollars for water and a little less than half of a budgeted $15.5 million for wastewater will be covered by cash-in-hand.

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