COUNTY NEWS RELEASE
A proposal from the Department of Public Utilities to increase the sewer rate annually for four years has gained approval from the Board of Public Utilities and is heading to the County Council next. Introduction of the proposed rate increase will take place Tuesday and a public hearing is scheduled for February 22.
Utility rates are defined by ordinances and must be adopted by the County Council to be put in place.
The proposed increases are 2 percent per year for four years, with the first increase taking effect on Oct. 1, 2022. If approved, the increases would follow three annual increases that were previously approved by the County Council. The last of those three increases took effect in October 2021.
The White Rock wastewater treatment plant replacement was originally funded through the previous increases, however rising construction costs have significantly impacted the cost of the project. The proposed increases would cover $13 million in additional principal and interest on the loan for the plant replacement.
The proposed increases affect sewer charges across the board—monthly service fees, flat rates for residential customers and variable rates for commercial and non-residential customers. For residential customers, the increases equate to $1.14 per month the first year, plus $1.16 per month the second year, plus $1.19 per month the third year, and an additional $1.21 per month the fourth year.
County Council meetings are currently being held both in person and remotely via Zoom. The meetings to include the rate ordinance introduction on January 25 and the public hearing on February 22 will both begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Los Alamos County Municipal Building at 1000 Central Ave. Zoom links for Council meetings are regularly available at https://lacnm.com/council about a week prior to each meeting.
More information about the proposed rates can be found online at: https://ladpu.com/rates.