DPU Invites Public To Wednesday Meeting On Proposed Multi-Year Water/Sewer Rate Increases

Los Alamos County


Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will ask its board (the Board of Public Utilities) for multi-year increases to water and sewer rates at an Oct. 16 public hearing. 

Prior to the hearing, DPU officials invite Los Alamos citizens to the September BPU meeting for preliminary discussions with board members; view a documentary on the condition of the nation’s infrastructure; and then attend a public meeting in either White Rock or the townsite.

“These complex infrastructure systems are essential to the economic prosperity and public health of our community,” advised Utilities Manager Philo S. Shelton, III.  “We need to ensure that we are properly updating and maintaining the system now, taking preventive measures, rather than waiting when corrective repairs are more expensive.”

Shelton encourages the public to attend the Wednesday, Sept. 18 board meeting at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers located at 1000 Central Ave. when initial discussions will take place.

DPU staff will explain the need for the rate increases and recommend they be structured for yearly increases over the next three years.  Specifically, staff is advocating that water rates would increase each year 5, 4.25 and 4 percent respectively.  Sewer rates would increase each year 6, 3, and 2 percent respectively.  

To highlight the critical role water and sewer infrastructure plays in safeguarding quality of life across the United States, DPU staff has arranged for the county’s public access channel to air a documentary produced by Penn State Public Broadcasting: Liquid Assets, The Story Of Our Water Infrastructure.  Though largely out of sight and out of mind, the film warns that many of these complex systems are aging, neglected, and in need of immediate national and local attention.  Citizens can view the trailer on the county website at https://ladpu.com/2019Infrastructure-Rates and will have six opportunities to watch the full-length documentary on Los Alamos’ PAC 8 on the following days and times:

  • Sunday, Sept. 22 @ 6PM
  • Wednesday, Sept. 25 @ 6PM
  • Thursday, Sept. 26 @ noon
  • Sunday, Sept. 29 @ 6PM
  • Wednesday, Oct. 2 @ 6PM
  • Thursday, Oct. 3 @ noon

In addition, Shelton urges citizens to attend one of two public meetings to discuss the more specific topics of Los Alamos’ water and sewer infrastructure and necessary rates to meet the community’s needs. The meetings are scheduled as follows:

Monday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.
White Rock Library
10 Sherwood, White Rock

Thursday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m.
The Nature Center
2600 Canyon Rd, Los Alamos

The Board of Public Utilities will consider approval of DPU’s proposed rate ordinances at a public hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave., Los Alamos, NM.  If approved, the County Council will consider adoption in November.

For more information contact the Customer Care Center, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 505 662 8333 or CustomerCare@lacnm.us.

The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) operates the county-owned electric, gas, water & wastewater systems under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities. The Board meets in Council Chambers at 1000 Central Ave., Los Alamos, NM every third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. The DPU is funded by rates paid for electric, gas, water and wastewater services and auxiliary fees, and has provided the community with these services for more than 50 years.

 CustomerCare@lacnm.us | 505.662.8333 | www.losalamosnm.us/government/departments/UTILITIES.