137% Water Rate Increase Coming Soon
Wholesale customers who buy treated water from Wichita Falls will see the price of that water go up 137% in October.
The rate is determined each year, using a mathematical formula based on water consumption rates for the year prior.
Lakeside City Mayor Jim Henson said the increase is so dramatic this year, because they actually saw a decrease last year. Therefore, this year's rate hike is only up by 29% from 2011.
Residents will see some of the expense reflected on their water bills, but community leaders are working to make the impact as minimal as possible.
"We have other areas that we can do some absorptions," said Mayor Henson. "We try not, unless it's absolutely necessary, to pass any of those kind of expenses along."
Water Superintendent for Archer County MUD Vernon Geis said the Board of Directors will figure out where they can cut back, so residents won't get the brunt of the increase, but will not let it impact the work they do.
"Upgrading the system is one thing, but as far as keeping the water in the pipes and in the towers, making sure our customers have water, that's priority one for all water systems," said Geis.
Still, some residents are concerned about the increase. However, they say they understand why the changes need to be made. "I mean, it's bad all over, so...something's got to give," said Archer Co. MUD customer Debbie Widby.
"I'll have to afford it. I've got to have water," said resident Harold Decker.
Communities that transport the water in their own pipeline will be impacted, including Archer Co. Municipal Utility District (MUD), Burkburnett, Dean Dale Water Supply Corporation (WSC), Friberg-Cooper WSC, Holliday, Iowa Park, Lakeside City, Pleasant Valley, Scotland, SAFB Capehart, SAFB Puckett/Hooper and Wichita Valley WSC.
Wichita Falls City Councilors will meet with leaders from these communities on Friday, Aug. 9 at 9 a.m. to discuss the rates set to take effect in October.