Granby council votes to increase water rates at budget meeting

The wind blows through the aspens outside the town hall in Granby. The directors meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

Water rates for the north Granby service area will increase effective January 1, 2023, after the Board of Directors votes to approve new rates at its meeting on Wednesday, November 9. The rate increase is intended to help fund the design and construction of a new treatment plant for the service area.

Rates for in-town and out-of-town water use, in-town raw water use, installation charges, construction water use, and sewer charges will increase all. The most significant increases come from the construction water tariff, which has increased by 242%, and the installation charge, which has increased by 225%. The plant capital cost, which is charged for creating a new water pipe, differs in price depending on the size, but all have increased by 110%.

For in-town users, the 2023 rate will drop from $6.62 per 1,000 gallons to $8.16 per 1,000 gallons, out-of-town users, the rate per 1,000 gallons will drop from $13.24 to $16.32. City raw water usage rates are increasing from $3.52 to $4.08 per 1,000 gallons.

See note

See note

Several community members spoke at the meeting to express their concerns and disapproval of the rate increase. One woman mentioned that many people in her neighborhood in the North Service Area are retirees living on fixed incomes who may not be able to afford higher water rates. City Manager Ted Cherry said the Mountain Family Center will help subsidize water costs for those who cannot afford it.

After everyone who wanted to make a public comment spoke up, Cherry, the trustees and Public Works Director Doug Bellatty answered their questions. Bellatty took some of the blame for the current state of the water plant, saying he should have pushed previous councils harder to raise water rates sooner so the north service area would be better prepared to replace the factory.

The city also pointed to the not-quite-disastrous status of the water plant. Bellatty said new regulations added to water safety standards over the plant’s 40-year lifespan have contributed to its declining water production capacity. While not concerned about the plant failing in the near future, Bellatty mentioned the possibility of it failing as the reason the city needs to replace it as soon as possible.

After the public hearing on the water rate increases, council voted unanimously to approve them. Ahead of the vote, Mayor Josh Hardy said he and other administrators live in the North Service Area and weren’t happy about paying higher rates themselves, but they supported the change because of the importance of replacing the factory.

Other business:

  • Trustees met as the Grand Elk General Improvement District Board of Directors to approve entity budgets, allocate funds, levy property taxes, and set system development fees.
  • The council also met as the Grand Elk General Improvement District No. 2 Council to pass a budget, appropriate funds, and levy property taxes. Finally, the trustees met as the Granby West General Improvement District Council to adopt a budget and levy property taxes.
  • Resident Daniela Gosselova asked the directors during the unscheduled public comments about the directors’ attendance rules, and a board member replied that directors would only be removed from the board for several unjustified absences.
  • Trustees approved the passage of the city budget, appropriated city funds, and approved property taxes for the 2023 fiscal year.
  • The council continued a public hearing on the final course of Granby Market Square.
  • The directors approved two resolutions related to Sun River Run RV LLC’s water system. The first granted initial acceptance of Sun Outdoor’s system under certain conditions. The second approved two decrees or compromises between the city and Sun Outdoors and other water rights holders in the region, as part of Granby and Sun Outdoor’s request to modify water rights, modifications and increase plans.

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