At a recent study session staff provided the results of its latest cost-of-service water rate study. The problem is that the City hasn’t raised water fees in while and has deferred capital maintenance. Now the City’s infrastructure is aging and needs repairs. Since the capital reserves have been depleted, the Council will have to decide how to fund the capital needs projected in the 10-year plan.
This is not a one-time discussion. The Council decided it wants to consider raising municipal water rates but that alone will not solve the problem. Loveland’s current rates are lower than those of Fort Collins and Greeley but to remain competitive in Northern Colorado, the City will have to be careful about raising tap fees for new development.
Staff mentioned the idea of a lower rate for small commercial properties with 3-4 employees. Currently small commercial properties pay the same higher rate that bigger commercial properties (such as Medical Center of the Rockies) pay. There was no specific discussion about this suggestion but it is an idea that makes sense. The Council will have more discussions about the water rate/infrastructure issue, particularly during the preparation of next year’s budget.