As summer approaches and outdoor watering picks up again, city officials have adjusted the rates that residents are charged in an effort to make prices more equitable for users.
After a series of lengthy discussion, the Tremonton City Council approved new rates for the summer watering season in which customers will see a 30% hike in the base rate and higher usage rates for indoor water, but lower rates for secondary water use.
Under the new structure, which officials plan to revisit at the end of the outdoor watering season, customers will pay a $13 per-month base rate for culinary water, up from $10 previously. Culinary rates based on the amount of water used are also going up, with prices 10% higher for most users, including commercial users.
At the same time, the base rate for secondary water is staying at $10 per month, while the usage-based charge for outdoor water is 25 cents lower for each tier of use.
Customers who have secondary water available to their homes but choose not to use it will still be a charged the $10 a month base rate during the six-month outdoor watering season.
Officials said the new rates make it so secondary water is noticeably cheaper than culinary water, while still allowing the city to bring in enough revenue to cover its debt obligations on bonds issued to finance construction of the secondary water system.
City leaders will use the data gathered over this year’s watering season, which typically runs through the end of October, to determine whether future changes to the rate structures are needed.
“This is the place to get in and get going on it, and if we need to adjust it we can,” Mayor Roger Fridal said.
Based on projections, city Finance Director Curtis Roberts said the new rates will allow the city to cover its debt obligations at least on a temporary basis until a more permanent structure can be put in place, but how much the city brings in depends largely on the weather, which is the biggest factor in how much water people use on their lawns.
“If there’s a heat wave in June, we’ll see a lot more water consumption,” Roberts said.