Water rates may increase for Craig residents | CraigDailyPress.com

Water rates may increase for Craig residents

The Craig Water Plant, located at 111 S. Ranney St., produces drinking water for the city of Craig. Following a rate study, the city is considering increasing rates for water and wastewater services.
Janelle O’Dea/courtesy

CRAIG — Water rates in Craig may be going up next year.

According to city of Craig Water and Wastewater Manager Mark Sollenberger, the department plans to present its research, recommendations, and reasons for proposing an increase in water rates to the Craig City Council in late September or early October.

The presentation is expected to focus on policies and procedures at the water treatment plant, as well as possible improvement projects. Ultimately, it will be up to City Council to approve or deny the proposed increase. Such increases typically go into effect Jan. 1.

The water department gave a public presentation Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Farmer’s Market to inform residents about how it conducted the rate study, Sollenberger said, adding that the water department doesn’t receive tax dollars for funding and relies on user fees, bond sales, cash reserves, and fees for new services to support operations.

Utilities typically don’t make a profit, and the department reinvests money received from residents to maintain and upgrade the city’s water system.

According to the water department’s website, cost to customers are determined by daily usage, how much water is in the river, and the cost of treating wastewater. Rates studies are conducted to help identify the types of services provided and assign cost based on demand.

The reason for the most recent rate study was to generate data for longterm planning to keep water and wastewater rates as low as possible, while providing adequate service to a population expected to increase in the future. There are dozens of projects in the city’s 10-year capital improvement plan, which bears an estimate total cost of $23.4 million.

Current rates have been in place since 2016 for water and 2017 for wastewater.

Contact David Tan at 970-875-1795 or dtan@CraigDailyPress.com.