Craig water customers may see increase in rates

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BY JEFF SWANSON
Daily Press writer
Craig residents may see a slight increase in their water bills, if the Craig City Council approves a new ordinance that would increase water and wastewater rates.
The Council will hear the introduction of the ordinance at their meeting at 7:30 p.m. tonight at City Hall.
The raise in rates would offset the city's current operating expenses, and provide sufficient revenue to maintain the balance of the water and wastewater funds, according to City Manager Jim Ferree.
"What we are really trying to stay away from is an increase like the 50 percent one that we had a few years ago," Ferree said. "We have tried to set a 15 percent increase for the next year, which wouldn't quite get us to where we want to be, but would help us to keep pace with some of the increases with some of our operating expenses."
According to Water Department Director Bill Early, the average usage per customer is 10,000 gallons a month.
Ferree also addressed concerns from Councilors' about why the city hasn't proposed rate increases over the last couple of years.
"Coming on the heels of a 50 percent rate increase, we really didn't feel that it would be appropriate if we were to turn around the next year and increase rates again," he said. "We want to get this caught up so that we are operating at a break-even level, but that is going to take a few years."
The Council will also:
Hear an update from Audrey Danner on Yampa Valley Partners.
Award a bid for the winter swimming pool cover.
Hear the second reading of Ordinance No. 906, which would adopt the 2002 Budget, and set appropriations for the revenues and expenditures.
Review the progress at the Ironclad Mobile Home Park. Owner George May has made city-mandated progress in updating the Park, and will update the Council on his efforts.
Hear a discussion on the Welcome to Craig signs. At the last meeting, the Council looked at new designs similar to what other Colorado municipalities now have.
Finance Director Bruce Nelson will present the financial report for October.

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