The White Settlement City Council approved an ordinance that will increase water and sewer rates as well as implement a new rate system. This change was needed for two main reasons. First is another increase in rates from Fort Worth that they charge the City for water and wastewater. This is the latest in a long line of increases that Fort Worth has made. The second reason for the increase is the escalating internal costs for maintaining and repairing the City’s aging water and sewer infrastructure. Much of the City’s water and sewer infrastructure has gone untouched for many decades and as issues become more and more common there is an immediate need to meet this issue with the proper amount of funds to address it. The total projected water and sewer expenses for the upcoming fiscal year are $931,426 ($339,777 for water and $591,648 for sewer).
The new water and sewer rate system is a tiered system. Within this system, rates increase along with usage. Minimal users will only see minimal increases, while those using higher amounts of water will see a larger rate increase. Minimum users (2,000 gallons or less per month) will see a monthly increase of $4.21 on their bill. The average water user in the City (4,000 – 6,000 gallons per month) should expect to see around an $8 or $9 monthly increase. For those using double the average amount of water, the increase could reach as high as $25 or $26 per month.
We understand that no one is happy when bills increase. Many of us who work for the City live here, this increase affects us as well. However, the failing health of the City’s infrastructure is a critical issue that must be addressed so we can continue to provide the services that you have come to expect and to position our City for continued growth and success in the future. Continuing to absorb rising maintenance and repair costs would have a catastrophic impact on the overall budget, taking away the City’s ability to focus on other important issues and services that you rely on. We thank you in advance for your understanding. We take our job to wisely and fairly utilize your tax dollars very seriously and believe this increase is the right thing to do for our City.
For those who may worry that their monthly usage will put them in the higher rate increase categories, we ask that you continue to follow us online. We’ll be periodically releasing water conservation materials that can help everyone keep water usage under control.
We welcome and value your input on this issue. If you’d like to contact us you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Facebook, or call at (817)246-4971 and we’d be glad to speak with you. A video of last night’s meeting will be online soon at http://www.wstx.us and we encourage you to watch the water/sewer rate increase discussion to get a fuller idea of why this increase was made and how it will impact you.
Aaron C. Hall
City of White Settlement