Rapid City citizens may see their water bills rise next year

By  | 

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Rapid City citizens could be seeing their water bills rise the start of next year, if a new 5-year utility rate plan is adopted by the city council.

A new water and water reclamation utility rate study was conducted by HDR Engineering Inc. That study helps to determine water and sewer rates for the next 5-years in Rapid City.

The study examines capital cost to maintain and provide safe clean water and waste water services.

HDR Engineer Shawn Koorn says, "It was a very good study. The city is doing a very good job in maintaining their current level of services. Based on the study, we are looking at how we can maintain that financial sustainability of each of the utilities for at least the next several years going forward."

The study found that city water is safe, but maintaining that safety has become expensive. That's because the city has had to dip into money from capital improvement projects to maintain the system.

"The water and waste water treatment facilities are very large infrastructure items that are regulated by the state. The city needs to meet certain regulations as part of those requirements, and those sometime come with mandates to make sure that the city is treating the water to a specific level", says Koorn.

The city council will talk about the plan at its Monday meeting on October 16 and possible approval set for November 6.

The city hopes the plan will be implemented by the first of the year.