Thornton sewer rates going up

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Thornton residents will see a 3.5 percent rate increase for sewer in 2014.
With the passage of the 2014 budget, City Council approved the rate increase during its Sept. 10 regular meeting. This increase is reflects the only increase in the revenue side of the budget, said City Manager Jack Ethredge.
“The 2014 budget does not call for any increases in sales use or property tax,” he said. “There are no water rate or tap fee increases. There are no fine or fee increases included in this budget either. There is one increase in the sewer rate of 3.5 percent that results from an increases in charges from the (Metro Wastewater Reclamation District) that is passed through the city to its customers.”
Metro increased its charges to the city for treatment processes, and the city is passing on that cost to the residents. Metro increased its charges to 4.5 percent.
An increase of 3.5 percent will result in an average monthly residential bill increase from $18.66 to $19.31. There are no water rate increases for 2014.
Council unanimously approved the 2014 budget, which includes pay increases, 13.5 new staff positions and a significant amount of funding dedicated to capital improvements that were deferred during the recession.
Total budget for all funds totals $198,183,702 — which is almost $13 million, or 6 percent, less than the 2013 budget, Ethredge said. Of the larger funds in the budget, the Water Fund saw the largest decrease — going down by 38 percent to more than $40 million from the 2013 budget of $65 million. Ethredge said the decrease is due to the city funding several reservoirs that it was in the middle of constructing in 2013. The largest increase in the budget comes in the Governmental Capital Improvements Fund, up 25 percent from last year’s allocation. The city has set aside $16 million for capital improvements in 2014.
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