Water, sewer rates rising to pay for repair

Grand Junction residents will have to soak it up as water rates are slated to increase in January.

Costs for several city services are expected to rise, but residential water service will be the sharpest increase at about $3.60 a month more for regular water users.

Sewer rates are expected to rise $2.50 per home next year, while rates for trash are expected to rise 55 cents a month. Total costs for water, sewer and trash collections for an average Grand Junction user will go up $6.65 in 2014. Grand Junction city councilors are expected to ratify all city services increases during a hearing on Nov. 6.

Last year, average water users in Grand Junction saw an increase of $2.56 a month on water bills and a combined $2.29 increase on wastewater and solid waste, for a total increase of $4.85. Grand Junction residents will pay an average $11.50 increase on bills for water, trash and sewer over a two-year span.

Next year’s increases are needed to pay for infrastructure like fixing antiquated water and sewer lines and saving money to pay for an expected $11 million to comply with new water standard regulations.

“For years and years we had small rate increases but those don’t go far and we have to catch up,” said Greg Trainor, director of public works.

Kannah Creek’s water system users will see similar increases on their water bills — about $3.60 extra per month for average water users.

Users of Ridges irrigation water will see water rate hikes, too. Single-family homes with average water usage can expect an increase of 73 cents a month on bills and those in multi-family homes will see increases of 60 cents a month.

Other fee increases in Grand Junction are targeted for the city’s non-essential services, such as season passes for golfing, meeting rooms at Two Rivers Convention Center, swimming passes and pool rentals, and field use and park shelters at local parks.

Golf fee increases include $1 more for green fees at city-owned Tiara Rado and Lincoln Park golf courses. Unlimited season tickets for golf will increase $15 to $430 a year. Game fees at Canyon View Park will increase $10, for a total of $95 per game. Meeting room rates at Two Rivers Convention Center will be increased on a scale between $9 and $326, depending on services provided.

However, rates will not increase next year for service clubs. Service clubs rent space at Two Rivers for $12.50 to $13.00 per event for monthly luncheons and $17.00 a person for service club dinners. Rates for service clubs are expected to increase in 2015, city staff said.

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