Water Industry News

Katy Texas considers rate hike to fraction of cost

January 11, 2006

By Jeremy Moreno

A water rate increase from 11 to 23 cents per 1,000 gallons of water is planned to offset a hike by the West Harris County Regional Water Authority of 50 cents per 1,000 gallons to 65 cents.

City Treasurer Byron Hebert said the city will be charged approximately $275,000 this year and would be receiving approximately $90,000 from taxpayers with the current rate. He said the fee increase would help compensate the $186,000 deficit.

Council member Hill Adams said he needed more time to evaluate the rate increase and explore alternatives to recover charges incurred by the city.

"I'm not prepared to vote for an increase when I had two working days to go through the numbers," Adams said. "It looks to me like we can absorb this. I'm not sold on this yet, but I'm not shutting my door either."

Adams suggested the city consider using monies from a $700,000 balance, leftover from the city's $3.2 million enterprise fund.

When the vote was delayed the first time in December, a rate increase of 28 cents per 1,000 gallons was proposed. Council members said they needed more information about water supply and consumption in Katy before proceeding with a vote.

On Monday, Council members agreed to a workshop on the matter before another vote.