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The City Journals

Water Rates to Increase After Council Approval

Jun 29, 2016 10:55AM ● By Kelly Cannon

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Water rates are set to rise starting July 1 after the Draper City Council approved an increase on the consolidated fee schedule. The unanimous decision was reached during the June 21 city council meeting. These changes were explained to the city council by Finance Director Bob Wylie.

 The water rates increased by two percent, which will keep the water fund balanced for the next fiscal budget. The water rates are tiered depending on usage and divided by zone depending on where the residence or commercial property is located.

 Every customer will continue to be charged a $20.25 base rate fee per unit. After that residential homes are charge per 1,000 gallons used. For one to 5,000 gallons used, rates in Zone 1 will rise from $1.87 to $1.91. Rates in Zone 2 will change from $2.01 to $2.05 and rates in Zone 3 will change from $3.13 to $3.17. For usage between 5,001 to 20,000 gallons, rates in Zone 1 will rise from $3.25 to $3.32. Rates in Zone 2 will go from $3.39 to $3.46 and rates in Zone 3 will go from $4.52 to $4.58.

 Commercial rates are not dependent upon water usage; rather, it’s a flat rate for all commercial properties per 1,000 gallons used. For properties in Zone 1, the water rates will change from $2.37 to $2.41. Rates in Zone 2 will go from $2.51 to $2.55 and Rates in Zone 3 will go from $3.63 to $3.67.

 Use of water from fire hydrants and/or temporary meter connection has also changed from $2.08 per 1,000 gallons to an applicable zone rate: $2.18 for Zone 1, $2.32 for Zone 2 and $3.44 for Zone 3.

 Councilmember Michele Weeks asked for justification for the rate increase.

 “I’m going to have these residents call me and say, ‘It rained. If we had so much water this year, why are we increasing it two percent?’” Weeks said. “What am I going to tell them?”

 Wylie explained a portion of the rate increase is due to the increase in the rate from where the city buys the water. The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, which is where Draper buys its water, has increased its water rates by 0.7 percent.

 “They’re proposing a rate increase,” Wylie said. “Also, there are other operational expenses within the water fund. We need to revenue to support those operational expenses.”

 Councilmember William Rappleye also chimed in, explaining to Weeks when the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District built all the water infrastructure the city had to pay for, the rates were projected to be eight percent a year.

 “That’s what we kind of had to agree to then, that it may be that number,” Rappleye said. “We were looking at it like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ But we had to do it because we had no water.”

 Rappleye made the motion to approve the water rate increases and the motion was seconded by Councilmember Alan Summerhays. The decision was