Archive for Thursday, July 15, 2004

Rural water meter hike into effect as of Aug. 6

July 15, 2004

Beginning next month, new customers of Consolidated Rural Water District 1 of Leavenworth County will pay an additional $1,750 to hook up a meter.

The $5,000 cost for new meters will take effect Aug. 6, manager Garry Eberth said. The change will help offset costs for additional new users, but will not affect existing customers, he said.

"The board did not want to raise the current customers," he said. "The development that is going means we will have to make improvements to our system."

The new meter rate cost will apply to any new customer within the district's boundary, which includes most of Basehor and extends north to Lansing and east almost to Interstate 435 in Leavenworth County.

Members of the district's water board decided to increase the charge from the old $3,250 fee to cover the costs associated with expected growth and the burdens it will place on the system.

"There is a lot of growth in the area, as you know," said water board chairman Greg Pike. "Whenever you have growth, you have to maintain infrastructure, water, and that takes money."

Pike said the water district looked at a hydraulic study that outlined the needs and projected growth and impact before deciding to change the rate. Pike said members of the board also learned that a meter increase would put the district more in line with the prices of other area water providers.

The change in new meter prices will not affect the water rates or charges existing customers pay, Pike said.

"The nice thing about this is that (it doesn't) affect existing customers," he said. "It will be paid for by the new development, which is the reason for the change."

Although new growth may be the reason for the price change, it may prove to have an effect on growth.

"I imagine Suburban (another area water provider) will likely raise its rates too," Basehor Codes Administrator Mike Hooper said. "It will probably slow down building a little bit, I imagine."

The Suburban Water Company, which provides water to Leavenworth County customers not served by the water district, largely outside of Basehor limits, charges $3,500 for a residential meter, office manager Karen Moon said. Moon said Suburban also charges $350 to get the water from the meter to the house, or $3.50 a foot in the event the distance is longer than 100 feet. Suburban's borders are not perfectly square, but largely extend north to Fairmount Road, south to Interstate Highway 70, east to 142nd Street and west to 222nd Street.

Neither of the water companies are affiliated with Basehor, and the city does not provide water services. Pike said the new cost for his company should not have a noticeable effect on growth.

"I don't think it will be much of a burden to shoulder," Pike said.

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