Project could increase Richmond residents’ water bills by $12 a month

RICHMOND–The first in a series of water rate hikes will start as early as July, due to the city’s proposed $5.14 million water improvement project that includes a new 2 million-gallon water tank, City Council members said at Tuesday’s meeting.In a series of rate hikes over the next three years, council members said residents could end up paying $12 per month more for the base water rate, jumping from $28 to $40 per month for those who use less than 10,000 gallons in a month.Water rates will increase in 2011, 2012, 2013, Mayor Mike Hall said. “Part of the reason we’re not (raising it all at once) right now is because we don’t know exactly how much we’ll be borrowing.”To fund the water improvement project, which includes the water tank, a well, chlorinator building, monitoring system and the fixing of old pipes and water flow problems, Hall and a few city employees will appear before the Community Impact Board in Salt Lake City May 5 to request a $5.14 million loan from mineral-rich counties in the state that have revenue to spare, Hall said. If the project ends up costing less, the city would not be obligated to use the entire $5.14 million, and has three years to come up with 125 percent of the interest due on the loan, he said.

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