WASHINGTON CITY – An increase in the city’s culinary water rates was approved by the Washington City Council during its last meeting of the year Wednesday. Estimated to be a $2 increase for average water users, the increase is slated to cover needed improvement and upkeep of existing water infrastructure.
“(The cost) is based on projected improvements that need to be done to our facilities,” Public Works Director Mike Shaw told the council.
As an example, Shaw said, a few years back the city had to go through the old part of town and replace all of the old water system to bring it up to date. Part of what necessitated replacing the aging infrastructure in that part of town was it producing three to four leaks a week.
“That’s what this fee goes to cover,” he said.
According to data presented to the council, the average Washington City household with a 5/8 inch-by-3/4 inch water meter currently pays around $33.95 per month for water. The new rate will bring that up to around $35.99 a month, an increase of $2.04.
The average water use for a city residence is estimated to be around 13,000 gallon per month, Shaw said.
The rate increase was unanimously approved by the City Council and is the second water rate increase passing this year.
In May the council approved an increase estimated to add another $1.10 and $1.20 to residential utility bills. This increase was passed to cover an increase in the wholesale price of water the city buys from the Washington County Conservancy District.
Residents should begin to see the new rate increase by the next billing cycle, Shaw said.
While the average monthly cost will jump to $2, the base rate city residents with 5/8 inch-by-3/4 inch meters pay will largely remain the same with a slight decease from $18.25 to $18.17.
In other business, the City Council accepted a road dedication plat for property deeded to the city by the State Institutional Trust Lands Administration.
The property deeded to the city will allow for the eventual construction of a road connecting Washington Parkway on the west side of Interstate 15 Exit 13 to the northern part of the Green Springs Drive.
Connecting the roads could take around two years once the city gets funding approved for the project, Shaw said. The city has already applied for funding through the Dixie Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The road would help alleviate a tiny bit of the traffic congestion at the notorious Green Springs intersection off Exit 10, Shaw said, adding it would just be a 1 percent to 2 percent decrease initially.
“But as we grow in that area, it could be quite substantial,” he said.
Main Street will also tie into Washington Parkway at some future point, Shaw added, though noting that connection would be paid for by future development in the area.
The council also bid farewell to outgoing council members Garth Nisson and Kurt Ivie. Both men were defeated in the recent election by newcomers Daniel Cluff and Douglas Ward who will be sworn in next year.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work on the council the last four years,” Nisson said. “It’s been a great experience.”
Nisson said serving the city and its residents has been a high point for him. He served a single term on the council, having been elected in 2013.
Ivie, who was appointed to the council earlier this year to finish the term of former Councilman Thad Seegmiller, was emotional as he also expressed his thanks to being able to serve on the council.
“I just want to thank everyone for the opportunity to serve,” Ivie said. “It’s been a privilege. I’m a better man for it.”
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