Bellaire Is Facing Increasing Costs For Water And Wastewater Services

Click To View The PowerPoint Presentation

Costs for Bellaire city services will continue to increase.  Personnel, equipment replacement and repair, maintenance, disposal of solid waste and recycling, purchase of water from the City of Houston, and more. Per the May 13th presentation, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) forecasts that water and wastewater rates across the U.S. will triple over the next 15 years. 

Estimated costs for capital improvements of Bellaire’s water, wastewater, and solid waste disposal for 2024-2028 is $4.37 million, though that cost could change. $2.27 million is already included in the Capital Improvement Plan. The additional $2.1 million may be covered by long-term debt, to be issued in 2026-2028.  In addition, costs will be offset by increased rates to Bellaire customers.  Several scenarios are included in the presentation.  

The presentation contains an in-depth overview of where we’re headed and what our options may be.  We’re not alone, all cities in our area are facing similar cost increases.  Per the agenda of the City Council Workshop on May 13, 2024, focus will center on suggested recommendations for the best methods to cover future costs. No video of the meeting is available.   


AGENDA STATEMENT

City of Bellaire
MEETING: City Council – May 13 2024
PREPARED BY: Todd Gross
DEPARTMENT: Finance

Presentation by Jason Gray with Willdan Financial Services on the utility cost-of-service and rate study, with an update from Mark Velasquez, Director of Public Works, and Beth Jones, Assistant City Manager, on water demand and system optimization as it relates to the cost of providing water service – Submitted by Terrence Beaman, Chief Financial Officer.

RECOMMENDATION:  Terrence Beaman, Chief Financial Officer, recommends that City Council receive the report and provide feedback as appropriate.

BACKGROUND/SUMMARY: Jason Gray, Managing Principal with Willdan Financial Services, will present the results of the utility cost-of-service and rate study. The study was undertaken to identify the City’s cost of providing water, wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, solid waste and recycling, and stormwater drainage services and will recommend rates for Fiscal Year 2025 and beyond that recover the costs of providing these services.

In addition, Mark Velasquez, Director of Public Works, and Beth Jones, Assistant City Manager, will provide an update on water demand and system optimization as it relates to the cost of providing water service.

PREVIOUS COUNCIL ACTION: On January 22, 2024, Council approved Ordinance No. 24-004 for a contract with Willdan Financial Services in an amount not to exceed $57,010.

 

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