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Water rates may rise for many in Salt Lake Valley

Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, which gets much of its water from the Central Utah Project, is proposing to raise its wholesale rates. In this file photo, a dog bites at the splashing waters of a structure built on the final phase of the Diamond Fork portion of the Central Utah Project.

By Judy fahys

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Apr 26 2013 03:41PM
Updated Apr 29, 2013 09:59AM

Wholesale water rates and retail impact fees for hundreds of thousands of customers could go up under a proposal now being considered by the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.

The district, whose wholesale customers deliver water to about 600,000 in the Salt Lake Valley, plans to increase rates by an average 5 percent. The proposed wholesale rate changes range from a 1.2 percent uptick in parts of Taylorsville to a harder-to-swallow 9.4 percent jump in parts of Riverton.

Meanwhile, the impact fees charged for new retail business hookups will increase 62 percent, according to the district’s plan for next year’s budget. This year’s proposal is in line with past years, said David Martin, chief financial officer for the district.

"It’s routine to increase rates every year to stay up with inflation and the cost of operating the system," he said.

The district sells its water to 15 member agencies, including cities like West Jordan and special service districts like the Granger-Hunter Improvement District.

And revenue from the water sales goes to keeping up with growth in the service area, such as replacing aging pipes in a South Salt Lake retail district and building new lines such as the Central Water Pipeline that taps into resources at the old Geneva Steel site and carries it into the Salt Lake Valley, Martin said.

Meanwhile, the impact fee hike will apply only to new retail customers. Retailers who sign up for a ¾-inch line would pay $3,999. The old rate, set nine years ago, was $2,472, under the proposal that is currently out for public review.

"Water’s not cheap," said Martin "and all the cheap water’s gone. So any water that we have to develop comes with a higher cost."

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