Updated December 8, 2023 - 10:35 pm
Water rates will go up for Henderson residents next year.
The Henderson City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday on a motion to increase water meter service charges and water usage rates for Henderson residents effective Jan. 1.
People who use more water and have larger meters will have higher, fixed increases over the next two years. The rates will increase with the consumer price index or by 2 percent after 2025.
The lowest tier of water usage will not go up by a fixed amount, instead increasing by either 2 percent or the consumer price index rate, whichever is higher, starting next year, according to city documents.
The second tier will go up by 14 cents and the third tier will increase by 19 cents per 1,000 gallons used next year before joining the lowest tier’s rate of increase in 2025.
The highest tier of water usage will go up by $1.75 for the next two years, then join the rest.
The smallest water meter will increase monthly service charges by $1.50 next year and in 2025. 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 of the next two years, according to city documents.
Several people from Henderson and Las Vegas voiced their opposition to the rate increases during the item’s public hearing.
The Henderson residents who made public comments gave ideas to better conserve water and asked the council to delay voting on the item to further look into alternatives. Former City Council candidate Alex Kleytman warned that passing the item would bring “an invasion” of people against the higher rates once prices go up in the summer.
Resident Sunny Shirey said the rate increases are not equitable to people with bigger properties.
As well, residents of Las Vegas talked about seeing water bills go up by thousands of dollars for them and their neighbors when the Las Vegas Valley Water District enacted similar rate increases, including an overuse fee, which Henderson would still not have with this item’s passing.
“I feel like those of us that have larger properties that have animals, horses, that have trees that were installed when our house was built in 1979, are being forced to make up that difference to support all of these newcomers to the City of Henderson,” Shirey said in her public comment.
Councilwoman Carrie Cox was the only one who voted against the move. Cox said before the vote that she received many emails from residents about the proposed rate increases and “would like to table this item, until we can, or I can at least, understand the other options.”
But Mayor Michelle Romero and Councilman Dan Stewart said the city worked on the rate increases for months and should not delay the vote.
Priscilla Howell, Henderson’s director of utility services, said to the council that the price increases would fund projects and operations of the city’s utility services.
Howell said the city already delayed or canceled several projects and that further delays could put the city’s facilities at risk.
“We have already made all the other decisions we can to postpone this or to make sure we are doing the most fair option we can,” Romero said.
Laura McSwain, president of the Water Fairness Coalition, praised Henderson’s rate increases after the meeting, saying in a text message the city leadership puts “the residents they serve at the forefront of their decision making.”
But Shirey did not trust that her rate wouldn’t go up more than $40 per month that the city predicted.
“I just don’t trust that it’ll only be $40,” Shirey said after the meeting, “but I guess we’ll see next year.”
Contact Mark Credico at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram @writermark2.