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7,000 gallons per month
The Board of Trustees is considering three different scenarios for utility water base rate increase that the Board will vote on at their September meeting. The average Wellington resident uses 7,000 gallons of water. This unit will be used for reference in this example.
The Bulk water dispenser has been reopened.
The Town of Wellington has a Municipal Water Efficiency Plan in place as of 2018 and the Town has had on-going Water Efficiency Activities since 2013. These activities include automatic meter reading installation and operations, a leak detection and repair program, weekly and time of day outdoor water restrictions, and several other plans. If you are interested in reading the full Water Efficiency Plan, please go to our "Water & Sewer Department" page.
Before any water fees are paid to the Town, a developer is first responsible for providing the water infrastructure (underground pipes) that extend water services throughout the subdivision. The cost of installing the new infrastructure is paid by the developer initially, and developers will typically recover their cost of installation in the sale price of the lot or home. Each new residential dwelling unit that is permitted is required to pay a water tap fee, currently $5,500. This is the capital cost of connecting to the Town’s water treatment and distribution system. Tap fees are used by the Town to pay for water treatment plant expansions, upgrades and new equipment necessitated to accommodate the impacts of new growth. Each new dwelling is also required to bring raw water to the Town (raw water is a term used to describe untreated water resources, such as water shares, rights or wells that can be accessed by the Town for treatment and distribution to residents). This is typically accomplished by paying a fee in-lieu of water dedication (pay a fee instead of providing the actual water resources) and is paid at the time a building permit is issued. The raw water fee is established based upon the cost of acquiring new water rights, and is currently $19,285.50. The Town uses these fees to purchase water shares or rights, or to lease water shares or rights for treatment and distribution. Once the water tap fee and the raw water fee are satisfied, a building permit is issued and the home builder pays the same residential water utility rates as residents until such time as the property is sold and the new home-buyer takes responsibility for the water utility fees. The water utility fees are used to pay for the cost of treating water and maintaining the water treatment and distribution systems.
On August 12, 2020, the Town updated water fees required for new residential development. The adopted fees are based on the actual costs to the Town to acquire new water sources needed to serve the new developments.
Conservation measures such as xeriscaping and other methods of reducing outdoor water demand are being evaluated by the Town. A combination of standard requirements for new construction, best practice guidelines, and incentives for converting existing water-intensive landscapes will be considered. Reducing outdoor water consumption will be integral to the Town’s future, and will need frequent evaluation to ensure regulations and programs are commensurate with available resources and remain beneficial to the Town and its residents.
The Town is currently working on an update to the Comprehensive Plan, including creating vision and values statements for our community and future growth. More information and opportunities to provide comments is available here (Comprehensive Plan). We would love your input!
Water use was an important consideration in the design and approval of the new high school/middle school. The property has a well on-site and the school district will be installing a non-potable irrigation system using the well water to irrigate the ball fields and other landscaped areas. The well water that will be used for outdoor irrigation is not part of the Town’s water system, thus significantly reducing the impacts to the Town’s water supply and distribution systems. The new school will be utilizing Town water supplies for indoor use, and the school district will be paying the applicable Town water rates for usage. Although a school is a significant water customer of the Town, the hours that water is used at a school is offset from the high demand hours of residential uses. Since the hours of highest demand are offset, the Town’s ability to treat water to meet the demand is minimally impacted.
September 22nd the Town Board will adopt new water rate fees.
The Town Board and Staff have looked into other water options, unfortunately none are financially viable at this time.
The Town has held several Virtual Public Meetings related to this issue including 4 different educational presentations which you can find above. Also, the Town has created a survey for residents to provide feedback related to the Water Rate Increase. You can find that link above or you can pick up a paper copy at Town Hall, Town Annex, or the Post Office. The survey is due August 24, 2020.
Yes. The cost of water has increased exponentially since 2011. Since 2011, our water cost has increased 238.8%. Please refer to utility rate presentation presented on 08/10/2020 for additional detail (link provided above).
No, you will be charged based on how many gallons of water you use a month. The number 7,000 gallons was used for the scenarios in the survey and presentations because it was the average amount of water used by Wellington residents. The water rate increase will be applied to the amount of what you use each month.
The process has started and the goal of completion is 2024.
The base rate is increasing because the cost of water has increased exponentially since 2011. Since 2011, our water cost has increased 238.8%. In order for Wellington to continue providing water, there must be an increase in rates.
Water needs vary among municipalities and therefore they cannot be compared. In order for Wellington to continue to provide safe water for their residents, these increases are necessary.
The Town of Wellington encourages conservation methods such as xeriscaping and this would benefit residents in less consumption per month which would lower bills per month. If you are interested in conservation methods for your lawn, we suggested you check out the Northern Water’s website here for Water Wise Landscapes.
There are several presentations that you can reference under our “Utility Rate Update” page on the website. This can be located under the Utility Billing Department page. Click here for direct access.
The Town of Wellington had a Water Rate Study conducted and the proposed scenarios discussed in the Board of Trustee meetings were the most fiscally responsible results of the study to ensure that the Water Fund remained stable for the future of Wellington.
On August 12, 2020 the Town updated water fees required for new residential development. The adopted fees are based on the actual costs to the Town to acquire new water sources needed to serve the new developments.