Water rate increases and future investment costs will be the primary focus of a Dec. 14 public hearing being hosted by the Centennial Water District.
The water district provides water and wastewater services to residents in Highlands Ranch and Mirabelle.
The public hearing will be held virtually via Zoom, starting at 6:30 p.m. A meeting agenda, including a Zoom link, will be posted on the district's website Friday, Dec. 10, at centennialwater.org, agency officials said.
In announcing the 2022 budget, Centennial Water is calling for water rate increases that officials say will cost the average, single-family customer about $52, an annual increase of about 5.2%.
According to the information provided by Centennial Water, the district water and wastewater rates for Highlands Ranch customers are among the lowest in the Denver metro area. Residents can look at a rate comparison on the Centennial Water District website at centennialwater.org.
According to the water district, monthly rates recover the cost of operations and maintenance including cost for staff, treatment chemicals, utilities, ongoing repair and maintenance of facilities, capital reinvestment, water acquisition and debt service.
In a press release, Centennial Water said its proposed 2022 budget and rates are needed to ensure that the agency, established 40 year ago, can continue to supply clean, safe drinking water and reliable wastewater services.
“Centennial Water's mission is to provide safe, sustainable, and reliable water and wastewater utility services to the people who rely on us every day,” said Acting General Manager Stephanie Stanley. “Over the next 10 years, we are forecasting an estimated investment of $250 million into our system to increase its resilience, reliability and sustainability to maintain superior quality and value to our customers.”
The 2022 proposed rates will include drought rates for the first time. Beginning in 2022, drought rates will be a routine part of the rate adoption process. There are identified rates for Stage 1 and Stage 2 drought conditions. If drought conditions occur, the Centennial Water Board of Directors could declare a drought stage that would cause drought rates to go into effect.
The stage designations were established in the spring of 2021 as water officials worried about a dry summer. The Centennial Water District board never moved to go into Stage 1 or Stage 2, remaining in the Drought Watch designation throughout the summer.
In 2022, eligible electors within Centennial Water's boundaries will have an opportunity to get more involved. Centennial Water will hold a director election for eligible electors who live or own property in the District's boundaries to run for a seat on the board. There are two seats up for election in 2022. For information visit centennialwater.org/vote.
For more information about the proposed budget and the public hearing, visit centennialwater.org or contact Centennial Water at 303-791-0430.
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