Frisco, Texas – In a move that could significantly impact households and businesses alike, the North Texas Municipal Water District is contemplating an anticipated 11% increase in water rates. However, it is worth noting that the final percentage could still undergo revision. If ratified, this surge would translate into a new cost structure, pegging the price at approximately $3.77 per 1,000 gallons.
If voted, the price increase will take effect later this year
As per WFAA, the fate of this suggested price surge lies in the hands of the North Texas Municipal Water District’s board of directors, with a verdict anticipated on September 28, 2023. Following a potential board endorsement, the revised tariff would come into effect commencing October 1, 2023. Notably, the district’s influence extends to multiple cities including Plano, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and Richardson, meaning these cities could be directly affected by the proposed hike.
Primarily, the North Texas Municipal Water District’s responsibility is to establish annual wholesale rates for water, wastewater, and solid waste. As a wholesale water provider, the district is charged with the task of servicing roughly two million residents across ten North Texas counties. However, the price paid by individual consumers may fluctuate across different cities due to the amalgamation of wholesale costs and local system costs.
Setting the rates involves a complex process, considering not only the volume of water consumed but also the expenditures related to operations, system maintenance, expansion, and servicing debts for existing pipelines and facilities.
Richardson City Council member Ken Hutchenrider heavily opposes the water rates increase
The looming increase has, unsurprisingly, sparked anxiety among certain city officials. The Dallas Morning News captured the apprehension of Richardson City Council member Ken Hutchenrider.
“No one’s walking away every year with a double-digit increase on their salary,” Richardson City Council member Ken Hutchenrider said during a June 5 work session. “I’m still just very, very, very concerned because there’s not many businesses that can pass through 11, 10, 12, 15% to their customers and stay in business.”
Further detailed scrutiny of the proposed rate changes was conducted during the June 5 work session. The Richardson City Council was privy to an exhaustive presentation on the projected 11% leap in the wholesale water rate. Additionally, the council was alerted to a potential 7% ascent in wastewater rates, which would culminate in a new charge of $2.75 per 1,000 gallons for the regional system.
Collin County residents still pay less for water compared to the national average
Despite the proposed increases, the district reassured that past instances of scheduled hikes have typically resulted in wholesale water rates lower than initial estimates. Moreover, when viewed on a national scale, the combined water services’ costs in the region are reported to fall below the average.