The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at 1000 Central Ave., to consider a proposed ordinance to increase water rates by 6.25 percent. If approved, the proposed ordinance will be introduced to the Los Alamos County Council to be scheduled for a second public hearing in March or April. Council will consider adoption of the ordinance at that time.
Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) seeks to increase wholesale, non-potable and retail water rates to recover costs necessary to maintain reliable water services to Los Alamos County and establish a cash reserve in accordance with the 2015 Financial Policy. A copy of the ordinance is available on the county website at: https://rebrand.ly/dpuWaterRate02-294 and at the Customer Care Center located at 1000 Central Ave., Suite 130, Los Alamos, NM.
Specifically, DPU is requesting that the price for wholesale water be increased from $3.42 to $3.63 per 1,000 gallons and the monthly service charge be adjusted from $643.90 to $684.14. Non-potable water that is sold for irrigation purposes to Los Alamos County and the Los Alamos Public Schools, would see an increase from $2.50 to $2.66 per 1,000 gallons.
DPU is also asking to raise the monthly service fee and drinking water rates for retail customers (including residential, commercial, county and schools). Residential customers with meters sized at 1-1/4 inch or under would see the monthly service fee increase from $9.42 to $10.01; and customers with meters sized at 1-1/2 inch would see the monthly fee increase from $29.84 to $31.71. Retail drinking water rates would increase from $4.98 to $5.29 per 1,000 gallons for commercial, county and school customers all year, and residential and multi-family customers during the non-peak season.
Peak season tiered rates apply only to residential and multi-family customers and are in effect from May 1 through September 30. DPU seeks to adjust the tier one rate (water consumed below 9,000 gallons) from $4.98 to $5.29 per 1,000 gallons for both residential and multi-family customers. The tier two rates (water consumed between 9,000 and 15,000 gallons) would increase from $5.29 to $5.62 per 1,000 gallons for residential customers, and $5.23 to $5.56 per 1,000 gallons for multi-family customers. Tier 3 rates (water consumed above 15,000 gallons) would increase from $6.32 to $6.72 per 1,000 gallons for residential customers, and from $5.35 to $5.68 per 1,000 gallons for multi-family customers.
For example, a residential customer who consumes 5,000 gallons would see the water bill increase from $34.32 to $36.46.
The public is invited to attend and provide public comment to the BPU at the Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 meeting held in Council Chambers at 1000 Central Ave., Los Alamos, at 5:30 p.m. For additional information, contact the Customer Care Center at 505.662-8333 or by email at CustomerCare@lacnm.us.