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West Bountiful considers water rate reduction
by TOM BUSSELBERG
Apr 11, 2014 | 1180 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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WEST BOUNTIFUL - Four years ago, West Bountiful’s water system needed some help.

That included city council passage of a water rate increase. But, as was written into the resolution at the time, those rates are now being reviewed - and could well be reduced.

City Administrator Duane Huffman, who wasn’t working for the city in 2010, said a water rate reduction looks promising.

“We’ve been doing a lot of projects,” he said.  A combination of factors has given the city a positive way to move forward. Those have included use of bond funds, the higher rates, and project costs consistently coming in lower than engineers’ estimates, due to the previously down economy.

“We are on track for several years of projects,” Huffman said.

During discussion as part of last week’s city council meeting, the council also had to take into account what level of reserves is “appropriate” and the water projects needed over the next three or four years.

 The council wants to look at that while still considering a rate reduction, Huffman said.

The city could need a new well in the near future. An old cast iron line carries some of the city’s water from Bountiful down 500 South to West Bountiful, and will need to be replaced.

“That’s a significant cost to replace,” Huffman said. Along with that, lines on 400 North and 500 South across I-15 will be replaced, as is the plan for an old line on 725 West, among others.

“The council made a very brave decision in hard economic times,” the city administrator said of the previous water rate hike.

A basic $63 a month rate includes $22 to cover operating expenses, $18 for debt service and $23 for capital improvements.

He said the issue will be likely be discussed in a couple more meetings. It should be decided prior to anticipated passage of a tentative budget in May, he added. 

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