The North Logan City Council gathered from the public about implementing new tiered water rates during its meeting Wednesday evening.
The council considered voting on whether to implement the new rates but after hearing resident and developer concerns ultimately chose to table the matter until its June 5 meeting.
The city created the proposed tiered water rate system after it was mandated by the state, according to North Logan Public Works Director Jordan Oldham.
“The reason for this is to try to promote conservation as well as fund infrastructure replacement,” Oldham said. “Our rates have not changed since 1997.”
In an attempt to keep up with inflation, Oldham said there would be a based rate adjustment from $7 to $12.15 for single-family units.
“That based rate would still keep us about the lowest in the valley,” Oldham said. “Well, would keep us the lowest in the valley.”
The proposal would create nine gradually increasing tiers each for single-family and multifamily residences. Tier 1 for single-family residences would be a base rate of $12.15 per month and $1.57 per 1,000 gallons up to 10,000 gallons. On the other extreme, Tier 9, which would apply to usage beyond 300,000 gallons, would charge $4 per 1,000 gallons.
Buildings that have more than one unit per water meter would have a base rate of $7.11 per unit but the tier rates would be the same.
A resident asked for confirmation from the council that the rates were only for culinary water, not secondary water.
Mayor Damon Cann said that although the city encourages the use of secondary water whenever possible, the tiered water rating increase is only for culinary water.
“The city is not in the business of running secondary water and so we’re not trying to regulating that,” Cann said.
Barbara Middleton asked the council to educate the residents on the rates and their impact. She also asked for a page on the website dedicated to water conservation and what the city is doing to help.
“You have some communication portals that you can use to get to the public,” Middleton said. “The first one is the website. Let’s upgrade that website and make it a little bit more exciting and interesting to open and look at.”
Middleton asked for the council to add a column in the monthly newsletter about water conservation and for the city to partner with the library and create programs to educate the public on simple steps they can take for water conservation.
“I think it’s just got to be a multilevel attack on helping people understand some of the simple things that they can do,” Middleton said.
Aspen Meadows Homeowners Association Vice President Courtney Wallace said they were concerned on how the new tiered water rates would impact their development of 88 homes that run on one meter.
Wallace said the association has some homes that use more water than other homeowners and they are willing to work with the city to find a solution to make the rates fair.
“How we can work with the city to come up with solution to make it fair for the homeowners who are using conservation methods, and maybe wake up some other homeowners who like to dump every ounce of water they can on their lawn,” Wallace said.
After discussing the effects of the tiered rates, the council decided to move forward with educating residents on how their water usage and the rates would affect them but want to continue discussing the effects of multifamily properties before passing the rates.
“Based on what I hear tonight, I am in favor of the tiered water rates,” Council Member Bruce Lee said. “I just don’t think we’ve vetted out all potentialities here. We don’t have the right plan in place to execute. I think we’re really close but I’d like to see just a little bit more.”