Water Rate Hike Approved - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Water Rate Hike Approved

Water Rate Hike Approved

Wichita Falls water customers are going to be paying more for their water. Early Tuesday morning Wichita Falls City Council approved a water rate increase of 53%. The average water user will notice around 22% increase on their next water bill in September.

According to Wichita Falls Chief Financial Officer Jim Dockery the town is selling 45%, roughly $8 million, less water than was previously expected. The city is also required to make annual water project debt payments through it's water rates. For the last two years the city was using a reserve $4 million fund to make the payments and keep the rates from increasing.

"We have to meet those obligations, I can tell you with the current rates we have in place we won't be meeting those obligations. We need to correct that situation," said Dockery.

Many residents voiced their frustration as they felt like the city was almost punishing them for conserving. Wichita Falls City Manager Darien Leiker explained that so many people have become so good at being water conservation friendly, also collecting and even harvesting water that it's likely that water usage in the city will never be as high as it was prior to the drought. 

"We have to pay for future projects and a significant part of this rate increase is not to pay for the water that you're using, it's to pay for future projects," said Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham.

Jack Carney, Newschannel6

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