BULLHEAD CITY — People opening their wastewater bills will notice a cost increase beginning during the upcoming August billing cycle.
The additional cost is part of the five-year graduated rate increase approved last year by the Bullhead City Council and based on a program study.
A letter written by City Manager Toby Cotter spells out why the rates changed.
“Staff reviewed the overall budget, capital improvement projects, necessary staffing and essential funds to maintain a safe and efficient water system,” he wrote. “The city has an obligation to maintain a top-notch wastewater system.”
The residential sewer rate will rise 2% from $33.50 to $34.17. That residential rate held steady for 15 years and last year was the first raise since 2003, when the city reduced the rate from $33.50 to $31.
The commercial sewer rate also will go up, from $44.31 to $45.19.
That rate for commercial users was adjusted in 2008 before last year’s increase.
“The current fiscal environment requires the city to raise sufficient revenues to invest in its sewer system, install new odor controls, cover increasing electrical and fuel costs, fund costs of employee compensation and maintain an appropriate reserve account in the wastewater fund,” Cotter wrote.
He also emphasized that the residential rate of $34.17 is “the most affordable in the entire region.”
Cited as an example illustrating that fact was the $71.07 amount charged to Fort Mohave customers by EPCOR Water Arizona for sewer service. Cotter used the Arizona Water and Wastewater Rate Dashboard for reference.