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Water bills, including usage, may be going up in Henderson

Henderson residents will pay more for water and wastewater services if the City Council passes a pair of items on Tuesday.

Two items on the upcoming council agenda will raise residents’ service charges for water and wastewater and the water usage rates.

The monthly water service charges vary depending on how large of a water meter the residents use. The smallest water meter, which Howell said 97 percent of Henderson residents use, will increase monthly service charges by $1.50 next year and in 2025, according to city documents on the item.

“That 3 percent of our customer base that doesn’t have the standard meter, they’ll see some bigger costs,” said Priscilla Howell, Henderson’s director of utility services.

Over the next two years, service charges for 1 inch meters will increase by $3.08, 1.5-inch or 2-inch meters will increase by $5.90 and 2-inch meters with a flow requirement of 2 inches will increase by $9.08 each year.

After 2025, the service charges will go up by either 2 percent or the same rate as the Consumer Price Index for all urban customers in the U.S., whichever is more.

Water usage rates also will go up for residents if the bill is passed, and the increase in price will go up as residents use more water.

Howell explained that the lowest tier of water usage will only increase by 2 percent or with the Consumer Price Index immediately if the item passes.

The second and third tiers of water usage will go up a fixed amount next year before joining the lowest tier’s rate. The second tier will go up by 14 cents and the third tier will increase by 19 cents next year if the item passes, according to city documents. The highest tier of water usage will go up by $1.75 for the next two years before regulating to the 2vpercent or Consumer Price Index.

“The volumetric charge is really based on your use for the month,” Howell said. “Our median usage is 7,500 gallons. So that equates to 21 cents. So for our median customers, we will see that total rate increase will be less than $2 (per month).”

Wastewater service fees will increase at a rate of 2 percent or the percentage rate used by the Consumer Price Index if the item passes. The current rate for the Consumer Price Index is 5.2 percent, so the fees will go up at that rate starting next year, according to city documents.

That means wastewater service charges will go up by $1.42 for single-family residences and mobile homes, and by $1.15 for low-income or disability households, according to city documents.

Howell said these rate hikes are to help the city pay for its planned projects as costs continue to go up.

“We’ve identified that, because of the really rapid cost increase over the last couple of years, that we need to tie our rates a little bit closer to CPI,” Howell said, “so that we can remain sustainable and have sufficient reserves in time to make those projects happen when they need to happen.”

Howell said the city also is working on increasing rates for commercial properties, saying “in the next probably six months or so, for commercial, we’ll be assessing those customers as well or evaluating what we need for that.”

More information on water service charges and use rates can be found on Henderson’s website at https://www.cityofhenderson.com/government/departments/utility-services/customer-care- center/water-wastewater-rates.

Contact Mark Credico at mcredico@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Instagram @writermark2.

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