Granby board votes to raise water rates at budget meeting |

Granby board votes to raise water rates at budget meeting

Several community members speak out against rate increases

Wind blows through the aspen trees outside of Granby Town Hall. The trustees meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

The water rates for Granby’s North Service Area will increase, effective Jan. 1, 2023, after the board of trustees voted to approve new rates at their meeting Wednesday, Nov. 9. The increase in rates are intended to help fund the design and construction of a new water treatment plant for the service area.

The rates for water usage in town and out of town, raw water usage in town, the facility charge, construction water usage and the sewer fee will all increase. The largest increases come from the construction water rate, which increased by 242%, and the facility charge, which increased by 225%. The plant investment fees, which is what is charged for the creation of a new water line, differ in price based on size but all increased 110%.

For in-town users, the 2023 rate will increase from $6.62 per 1,000 gallons to $8.16 per 1,000 gallons, for out-of-town users the rate per 1,000 gallons will raise from $13.24 to $16.32. In-town raw water usage rates are going from $3.52 to $4.08 per 1,000 gallons.

Several community members spoke at the meeting to express concerns and disapproval for the rate increase. One woman mentioned that many people in her neighborhood within the North Service Area are retirees living on a fixed income who may not be able to afford higher water rates. Town Manager Ted Cherry said Mountain Family Center will help subsidize water costs for those who cannot afford them.

After everyone who wanted to make a public comment spoke, Cherry, the trustees and Public Works Director Doug Bellatty answered their questions. Bellatty took some responsibility for the water plant’s current state, saying he should have pushed previous boards harder to increase water rates sooner so the North Service Area would be better prepared to replace the plant.

The town also emphasized the not-quite dire status of the water plant. Bellatty said that new regulations added to water safety standards over the plant’s 40-year lifetime have contributed to its water production capacity decreasing. While he is not concerned about the plant failing in the near future, Bellatty mentioned the possibility of it failing as a reason the town needs to replace it as soon as possible.

After the public hearing on the water rate increases, the board voted unanimously to approve them. Before the vote, Mayor Josh Hardy said he and other trustees live in the North Service Area and are not excited to pay increased rates themselves, but they supported the change because of the importance of replacing the plant.

Other business:

  • The trustees met as the board for the Grand Elk General Improvement District to approve the entity’s budgets, appropriate funds, levy property taxes and set system development fees.
  • The board also met as the Grand Elk General Improvement District No. 2 board to adopt a budget, appropriate funds and levy property taxes. Lastly, the trustees met as the Granby West General Improvement District board to adopt a budget and levy property taxes.
  • Resident Daniela Gosselova asked trustees during the unscheduled public comments about trustee attendance rules, and a board member responded that trustees would only be removed from the board for multiple unexcused absences.
  • Trustees approved the adoption of the town’s budget, appropriated town funds and approved fiscal year 2023 property taxes.
  • The board continued a public hearing about Granby Market Square’s final plat.
  • Trustees approved two resolutions related to Sun River Run RV LLC’s water system. The first granted initial acceptance of Sun Outdoor’s system with some conditions. The second approved two decrees, or compromises between the town and Sun Outdoors and other water rights holders in the area, as part of Granby and Sun Outdoor’s application to change water rights, amendments and augmentation plans.
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