Fraser increases water rates to encourage conservation
In an effort to encourage water conservation, the town of Fraser is increasing its residential water consumption rates for higher users through a three tier structure.
Beginning April 1, the residential water rates will be $1.50 per 1,000 gallons for up to 12,000 gallons; $3 per 1,000 gallons for 12,001 to 20,000 gallons; and $6 per 1,000 gallons for over 20,000 gallons.
The base rate of $153 per quarter per single-family equivalent and commercial consumption rates will remain the same.
Fraser Town Manager Jeff Durbin said around 75 percent of customers use less than 15,000 gallons per quarter, so many customers won’t see a rate change. Previously, the residential consumption rate was $1.50 per 1,000 gallons regardless of the amount used.
“If you’re not a heavy water user, you won’t see an impact to your bill, but if you’re a heavy water user you’ll see more of an impact to your bill,” Durbin said.
The town estimated the rate change will generate around $15,000 in revenue for the water fund. However, Durbin said the rate change would ideally not generate revenue at all.
“This definitely wasn’t about increasing revenues for operations, all this was about is conservation,” he said. “I think the goal is that heavier water users rethink how they use water and then there would be really no net increase in our water revenues.”
The rate structure was decided on by the town’s water and wastewater committee, but had been presented to the Board of Trustees with a $4.50 rate per 1,000 gallons for over 20,000 gallons. Durbin said the board increased that rate to $6.00 to show how important water conservation is to the community.
“We’ve had a lot of dry years, our system is growing, we’re having more customers, it’s the same conversation every Colorado community has about water conservation and the importance of a reliable, sustainable supply,” Durbin said.
The rate change joins other measures taken by the town to reduce water consumption and waste, including education, imposing watering restrictions, utilizing irrigation best practices and reducing loss at the water plant.
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