A capital improvements program to ensure Longmont can continue to provide enough drinking water to its residents at build out would cost more than $214.7 million over the coming 20 years. This figure includes the cost of repairing damages caused by last year’s flood, replacing aging infrastructure and expanding the system to address future needs.
The estimate was part of an Integrated Treated Water Master Plan staff presented to the City Council. Once Longmont is fully developed and built out, which could happen in 26 to 43 years, Longmont’s population will be nearly 113,000, or about 21,000 more than the City’s current population.
The staff will present the Council with a financial plan for funding the water utility’s future needs in October, according to public works and natural resources director Dale Rademacher. He warned that the plan would likely recommend increases in water rates and fees. Some Council members seemed surprised by this news while others were more accepting. Financing the water system expansion and improvements will likely require more than higher fees. Another mechanism for example, could be a bond measure, but that would require voter approval.