Ogden seeking opinions on water charges

Feb 1 2012 - 12:07am

OGDEN -- The city is in the midst of a comprehensive study on how much it will charge residents for water, and officials want to hear from the public.

The Ogden City Council is in month two of a four-month study that will determine water, storm sewer and sanitary sewer rates for the next five to 10 years.

The city has released a six-question, Web-based survey designed to gather input from the public.

"It's time to look at the next several years (in regard to water rates), so we are trying to get as much information from the public as we can," said Bill Cook, the council's executive director.

The online survey can be found on the city's website at www.ogdencity.com and will be accessible until March 4.

The city council last studied water rates in 2007.

In November 2011, former Mayor Matthew Godfrey proposed to lower water rates because of a disparity in rates between users with and without secondary water.

Of about 25,000 city water customers, roughly 13,000 don't have secondary water and rely on culinary water for both indoor and outdoor uses.

But the city council chose to initiate the study instead of immediately lowering rates.

The council's rate study is addressing a number of issues including:

* Financial and capital improvement analysis for future planning.

* A review of more accurate usage data that may come from new billing software and culinary water meters.

* Discounts for certain users.

* Simplified rate codes and rate structures.

* Upgraded billing statements for customers.

* Linking water usage and sewer usage rates together.

* Review of the rate structure for both residential and commercial users.

The city will hold three public meetings in March and April concerning the rate study, although the exact dates haven't been set.

Cook said the city is looking at a June 1 effective date for new rates.

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