Water, sewer bills to jump in January

The average single-family residence in Grand Junction can expect an increase of $2.56 on its monthly water bills starting in January. City councilors approved the rate increase during a meeting Monday night.

Other rate increases include a combined $2.29 a month for wastewater and solid waste and nearly 68 cents a month for users of Ridges Irrigation water. Kannah Creek water system users also will see a base level increase of $2 a month for the first 3,000 gallons.

Water and wastewater or sewer rates have not increased since 2009, according to Grand Junction city staff.

Increased fees are needed because the city has been conducting more sewer line repairs, and balances in the water fund have been 
dropping over the years without any rise in user fees, said Utilities, Streets and Facilities Director Greg Trainor.

“The fund balance was dropping below the target because of the recession and not seeing any rate increases,” he said.

Increasing fees to the water fund represent a 9.3-percent hike over last year.

The water fund dipped from about $2.25 million in 2009 to about $1.3 million in 2012. By law, the city must keep a balance of a little more than $1 million.

In addition to wastewater repairs, the city is attempting to save money for potentially stricter state standards that limit the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water. Trainor said it’s unclear how much that would cost, but estimates are at $10 million.

■ In other news: North Avenue from 12th Street to 23rd Street will get a face-lift thanks to a federal grant for $1.19 million. Councilors approved a donation of an in-kind match for design services on the three-mile stretch. They also approved a $60,000 grant request to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for the project. If awarded, that requires a $20,000 match for consultant services.


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