By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Municipal water and sewer customers will see slightly higher bills next month.
The city of Saltillo approved the first rate increase in at least 20 years to help cover an operating shortfall due to the rising price of materials and supplies.
“Materials and associated stuff to run the system has gone up about 35 percent in the past few years – pipes, fuel, tires, all that,” said Saltillo Mayor Bill Williams.
Base water rates will jump 3 percent – from $9 to $9.20 for the first 2,000 gallons. Base sewer rates will rise 6 percent – from $11 to $11.66 for the first 2,000 gallons.
The fees for water and sewer usage over the base amount will increase 5 percent – from $3.50 to $3.68 per each additional 1,000 gallons.
Higher fees will generate an additional $45,600 annually for the city, said Public Works Director Richard Feist. In all, water and sewer bills brought in about $1.2 million during the previous fiscal year.
“This will cover the shortfall,” Feist said, “but you have no money to grow” the water and sewer system to accommodate new customers.
The 2010 Census shows Saltillo’s population grew about 40 percent over the past decade to just under 5,000.
The city is participating in a regional waste water study that could expand its current sewer infrastructure. There is no such plan for water at the present time.