BBC Research & Consulting has finished its study of Greeley’s Cash in Lieu (CIL) water policy. The consultants say the volume of water Greeley requires from residential developers is very close to the average across the region. However, “the cost to developers of approximately $25,000 per home is above average” compared to the average price of $20,000 for the 22 Northern Colorado communities studied in the report. However, the consultants did note “most of the lowest cost water providers (such as Fort Collins Utilities, Longmont and Lafayette), have less growth potential than Greeley and less need to acquire new water supplies in increasingly competitive markets.” When water tap and plant investment fees are included, Greeley’s cost of $36,271 per home is also higher than the average ($28,900) across the region.
BBC says the primary culprit in the high cost for CIL is the volatile and escalating price for Colorado-Big Thompson units, which is the basis for calculating CIL prices across the region. Therefore, the consultants recommend that Greeley use an average of the most recent three-year period as the cost basis for CIL rather than the current price. Another suggestion is to encourage a pilot program for low water use developments.
The recommendations, along with input from the stakeholder group, will be brought forth first to the City Council in a work session on August 11, and then to the Water and Sewer Board at their August 19th meeting. The Water and Sewer Board does set the Cash-in-Lieu of rate. Note: Representatives of GARA have attended the stakeholder meetings. The Board of Directors is currently reviewing the consultant’s report prior to considering a position on the recommendations.