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Posted on: February 12, 2020

Water and Sewer Rate Increases to be Considered

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The City Council will be considering increases to the rates customers pay for water and sewer service within the City of Kalispell. The money raised from rate increases would help the city continue to provide safe and reliable water, and help guarantee collection and ongoing treatment of sewage. The Council will also be considering changes to water and wastewater impact fees.

Annually we produce and supply 1.4 billion gallons of water for drinking, showers, cooking, irrigation, etc. requiring many miles of pipes, production wells, and storage facilities to provide pressure and handle operational and emergency capacities. Rates also help pay for new source development such as mains, wells, and tanks to meet current and future water demands, and a metering system to provide reliable usage and a new customer portal to view real-time usage and leak alerts. Rates also support personnel to keep our facilities and services running 24/7.

In the city when you flush your toilet, run your dishwasher or take a shower, your wastewater is collected into 120 miles of gravity mains or 25 miles of force mains and may navigate through one of the 36 sewer lift stations throughout the city.  The collected wastewater flows into the Kalispell Waste Water Treatment Plant, where it is cleaned and then discharged into Ashley Creek. Rates support operations, maintenance, rehabilitation, sampling, and record keeping at the technical biological treatment facility to ensure regulatory compliance that helps protect public health and our water resources.  Rates will also help pay for necessary upgrades and up-sizing to support current and future growth in the city, and supports the personnel to keep our facilities and services running 24/7.

The City Council will be considering a seven year increase to water and sewer rates beginning June 1, 2020 (applied to the July 2020 bill).

 The following chart shows what the water rate increase would look like for a person who uses 6,000 gallons per month and have a ¾ “ Meter.

Chart showing water rate increases

The following chart shows the rate change for a typical monthly sewer customer using 6,000 gallons per month.

Chart showing sewer rate increases

Further information including the executive summary for both the water rate study and the wastewater rate study recently completed by HDR Engineering is available at: https://www.kalispell.com/561/Water-and-Wastewater-Rate-Study. Several open houses have been held. A public hearing will be held on Monday, March 2, during the regular City Council meeting that begins at 7 p.m. providing the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes. Written comments may also be submitted for Council consideration via email to citycouncil@kalispell.com or by mail to Attn: City Clerk, PO Box 1997, Kalispell, MT 59903.

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