BV Directors Approve New Water Rates and Purchase of Water Right Extension – by Hannah Harn
At its April 12 regular meeting, the Buena Vista Board of Directors approved a new water rate schedule as well as the purchase of the Bray-Allen Extension water right. As the city continued to improve its water systems and a broader range of water rights to support the city’s planned growth, the council heard presentations on the proposed water tariff change since 2021.
Basic monthly water tariff change
The water rate schedule will come into effect during the June 2022 billing cycle. It is based on the Draft Water Rate study presented to council on February 22, 2022 by Wright Water Engineers (WWE). The study recommended changes to water rates to cover increases in maintenance costs and capital expenditures for 2022-2028, which include projects needed by existing customers as well as those needed for continued growth.
The recommended changes will increase the monthly base rate each year based on the Consumer Price Index to support rising operating costs, parts and other needs. In June 2022, the base monthly rate will increase from $34.92 to $36.87, including up to 5,000 gallons of water. An additional tiered rate billing system adds a cost per additional 1,000 gallons, with an increase at certain thresholds.
The motion to approve the new water rates passed unanimously.
Bray-Allen Water Rights Purchase Extension
The town of Buena Vista was initially approached by a local farmer to purchase water rights as they moved away from farming. Additionally, much of the property associated with the water right has been subdivided for residential development.
The city has made an offer to purchase 5.0 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2,244 gallons per minute (gpm) of water, Priority Admin. Number 116 in seniority on the Arkansas River, for $1.2 million, to be paid over the next three years.
The city will also pay an additional $5,000 per acre-foot if more than 120 acre-feet of water is decreed during the water court. According to the staff report, this water right will benefit the city due to its size, location on the Arkansas drainage, and potential use in the city’s portfolio as supplemental water at the project location. Water, for growth or for development opportunities. The purchase was unanimously approved.
Additional information about changing water prices and the new acquisition of the water right are on the the city website and mon-bv.com.
Featured Image: Arkansas River, Ruby Mountain. Photo by Tara Flanagan