Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ballard Water Rates Climb

When Ballard city residents open their water bill in February, they will see just how much of an effect a recent rate increase will have on their wallet.

There will be a raise in both the property tax mill levy for the Water District as well as a fee increase for water usage.

The need to raise the cost of water to consumers had been evident for some time as the Water District's budget has been operating in the red for the past few years, according to Ballard Mayor Thomas Nordstrom.

The depreciation of the system's assets, as well as increased costs for everything from purchasing of water from the Ute Tribe as well as higher costs to replace, repair, maintain and expand the system, have caused a strain on the budget, said Mark Reidhead, president of the Ballard Water and Sewer Improvement District.

The city is growing, and so grows the need for water. According to the Ballard City and Ballad Water Improvement District newsletter going out to consumers with the December bill, approximately 50 building permits have been given out this year alone. This includes two new three story hotels to help with the shortage of rooms for both the traveling public as well as oilfield workers. “We are getting more and more of a demand all the time,” he said.

While he expects to hear from some consumers, Reidhead said he believes some people understand the need for the increase. “If we want to keep water flowing, the people I've talked to are saying 'if we need the water, we have to pay for it,'” he said.

The increase goes into effect January. Uintah Basin Standard