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Boyd council OKs water rate increases

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Boyd residents will see a water rate increase this summer.
The Boyd City Council Tuesday approved a 10 percent increase to residential and commercial water rates and 50 percent hike to commercial sewer rates after a second public hearing.
The rate increases will raise the average residential water bill for a homeowner using 4,500 gallons $4.60 to $51.10. With the average sewer bill remaining the same at $33.20, the average monthly total residential water/wastewater bill will be $84.30.
The average commercial customer consuming 12,000 gallons of water will see a $14 increase to $153.60. The commercial sewer bill will increase $26 to $78. The average monthly commercial water/wastewater bill will be $217.60.
The increases will go into effect in six to eight weeks.
According to a report last month by Belcheff and Associates engineer Roman Boitsov, the water/wastewater department had a $43,101 deficit in the 2016-17 fiscal year and is projected to have a $37,266 shortfall this year. With the increases, the department would have a $33,157 surplus in 2018-19.
“We hate to have to do that, but inflation goes up every year and our water cost us more every year. We have to do something,” said Mayor Rodney Holmes. “We can’t continue to supplement it with ad valorum taxes and take money out of parks, streets and the police department to pay for water and sewer. Our infrastructure is in such bad shape and that’s the reason we’ve been working on our capital improvement plan and are going to implement phase one. We’ve worked hard on that over the last two years. I’m very proud of our staff for getting that done.”
The city recently received preliminary approval for a $5.8 million loan from the Texas Water Development Board. It is expected to receive official approval in June. The loan will allow the city address a series of water infrastructure needs, laying 9,000 feet of water line, eliminating choke points in the current system, equalizing pressure, providing 1.5 million gallons of storage, digging two wells, putting in multiple lift stations and purchasing easements.
The city supplements its water supply by purchasing water from Walnut Creek Special Utility District. The city’s cost for water purchases jumped from $92,347 in 2016 to $189,138 in 2017.
City officials said they billed customers approximately $24,000 last month and received a bill from Walnut Creek for $30,000.
“That’s $6,000 that has to come out of the bank and it’s $6,000 that we had budgeted for other things,” Holmes said.