Ask City Council Your Questions about Upcoming Changes to Water and Sewer Rates

kathy moore
By kathy moore
October 20th, 2015

Editor’s Note:   The City of Rossland has issued a press release inviting citizen queries about the proposed new water and sewer rate schedule.  Your editor strongly advises you to check it out, as there will be increases, and some of them will be significant.  There will be increases across the board, and people who have not bothered to get their water meters are well advised to do so ASAP.  The increase for the average metered residence will not be huge, but certain businesses and others with larger water intakes are likely to suffer a degree of “sticker shock.”    The shock may be less traumatic if  it is well-cushioned by information.  So here’s the press release:

The City of Rossland is making changes to the water and sewer rates and services to ensure we have a system that charges enough to be self-sustaining.

Understanding the current reality and the proposed changes is a lot of information to take in and City Council wants to ensure that they are considering and answering the questions that people have about the proposed changes.

Residents are being invited to review the information and pose a question. Email invitations are being sent out for people to take a few minutes to read a high level summary, a more detailed overview, or dig into the consultant’s report and then ask Council any questions they might still have about the proposed changes.

Then Council will be hosting a meeting at the Seniors Center on November 12th at 7pm to respond and answer as many of the key questions as they can. (1916 First Ave)

While Rossland needs a sustainable water and sewer service that charges enough to be self-supporting, Council has never set the rates to properly reflect the true cost of operating the system. The full cost of the service includes the day-to-day operations and considers the future capital requirements of our water and sewage treatment facilities.

With the help of a consultant, City Council has created a 25-year plan estimating the current and future operating and infrastructure needs following best practices for such services. With this plan comes a new billing structure that will charge a blended rate, based in part on the size of your water pipe (because that is the actual capacity of water available to you) and in part on the amount you actually use.

Currently, we dip into general tax revenue to pay for our system annually. This means we need to borrow or raise taxes when major work needs to be done. It makes more sense to plan for them and pay for them over time with fees, which provides everyone with more financial stability. Rossland is committed to charging fair and equitable rates for all customers based on an easy to understand structure.

For more Details and to Ask Your Questions

Watch for an email invitation in your inbox from Thoughtexchange & City Council on Monday, October 19th. If you don’t receive an email invitation you can self-register here: bit.ly/rosslandwatersewer or stop by City Hall to pick up hard copies of the information.

Next Steps
Council will have a public meeting to report back on this Thoughtexchange process and to answer questions on Thursday, Nov 12, 2015 at the Seniors Center on 1916 First Ave at 7pm

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