Politics

Park City amends proposed water rate increase, phasing charges for city-owned properties

PARK CITY, Utah — Park City Council will hold another discussion on water rates for Fiscal Year 2025, focusing on single-family homes with high water use and city-owned properties. This follows recent adjustments to rates for non-residential customers.

According to the staff report, the proposed 2025 water rate increase has been lowered from 10% to 4.5% with the goal of easing the financial burden on residents while still addressing the projected near-term negative cash balance in the Water Enterprise Fund by the end of 2026. Rising maintenance costs and reduced water revenue from successful conservation efforts are key factors driving the need for rate increases. In addition, staff say they are optimistic about receiving a significant grant from the Federal Government that will help pay for the Main Street capital project.

One significant change under consideration is the introduction of new rate options for single-family homeowners. Part of the recommendation outlined in the staff report, which will be presented to Council by Bowen Collins, would ease the rate increase by allowing single-family residential users to self-select into a rate structure that can match the water demands of their yard size or irrigation efficiency, and choose to spread out their water bill over the course of the year, instead of having several months with larger bills and other months with relatively smaller bills.

Currently, city-owned properties, including the Municipal Golf Course, do not pay for water. This practice might change to help boost the Water Fund’s revenue. The Council is considering a phased plan, starting in 2026, to charge city facilities for water use. This move aims to encourage conservation and improve budget management across various departments. The plan includes discounted rates for facilities using untreated water, providing some relief while still contributing to overall revenue.

Public facilities such as parks and schools will gradually start paying for water, which could lead to higher user fees to cover these costs. The phased approach will give departments time to adjust their budgets and operations accordingly.

The option to phase in payments for municipal-used water would also include an initial $1M contribution from the General Fund for 2025 as a band-aid to the deficit crisis.

Users of the MARC, the Park City Ice Arena and the Municipal Golf Course will likely see rate increases as a result of the facilities needing to pay for water.

Below is a chart showing how much each facility would need to pay at 100% of the retail rate.

Park City Municipal Chart.

View the full staff report and join the meeting at 3:40 p.m. via Zoom.

Share your thoughts on the proposed water rates. Contact tips@townlift.com.

 

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