Water authority looking at increasing rates

Eddie Garcia
April 20, 2017 05:19 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Water is the one thing people can't do without, but getting that water to the faucet isn't cheap and over time infrastructure starts to break down.


For Albuquerque, it's a major sewer plant that needs an expensive overhaul with a price tag of $250 million. That's why David Morris, spokesman for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority, said the governing board is considering a 5 percent increase - which would affect 270,000 accounts with more than half of them being residential.

"The average residential customer would see about a three dollar per month increase in their bill," Morris said.

Morris says the increase would add about $6 million to the water authority budget. More cash on hand to limit the amount of borrowing for the sewer project.

"Doing our best to limit the amount of borrowing that we have to do in order to save our ratepayers those interest charges over time," Morris said.

One resident, Arlette Miller, said she can afford it.

"It probably runs about $40 dollars a month I'm thinking, so a little increase isn't going to be bad for getting more infrastructure built that we need in this city," Miller said.

Olivia Tafoya said even a modest increase would be a squeeze.

"Everything else is going up, it's just not the water bill and I think they should get their money some other way than increasing especially residential," she said.

If approved, the rate increase would go into effect July 1 and would appear on the August bill. Even then, Morris said this increase isn't all that's needed and future increases may be coming.

"We're probably going to need three more over the next decade or so," Morris said.


Eddie Garcia

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