Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ketchum to raise water, sewer rates

4.9 percent increase deemed necessary to fund capital improvement projects

The Ketchum City Council on Monday unanimously approved 4.9 percent increases for both water and sewer rates.
The increases were agreed upon after Public Works Director and City Engineer Robyn Mattison wrote recommendations to increase the rates.
In both recommendations, which can be read on the Ketchum website, Mattison wrote that the increased rates are necessary in order to fund capital improvement projects.
“We have not completed any capital improvement projects over the last two years for our water system,” Mattison said. “They keep getting pushed back year to year because the construction cost on our water mains is so high.”
Mayor Randy Hall echoed Mattison’s sentiments, agreeing that the increased rates are necessary.
Hall said, “We had to increase our rates 15 percent or 20 percent in years past. We made a decision we were going to increase 4.9 percent each year, and we’re still competitive throughout other jurisdictions in our valley. It just needs to be done to maintain the infrastructure that supports us.”

Our property values are predicated upon delivering these essential services.”
Randy Hall

According to the fiscal year 2013-14 budget that the City Council recently approved, a total of $1,425,143 was set aside for the water fund’s operational expenses. In Mattison’s recommendation, she wrote, “The anticipated fiscal year 2013-2014 revenue from water usage fees, including the proposed 4.9 percent increase, is $1,526,000. This indicates that approximately $108,000 of the annual revenue can be allocated to capital improvements without using reserve funds.
    “In fiscal year 2012-2013, approximately $108,500 was spent from the water capital improvement fund to install or replace water meters, repair water main breaks, and to put a new roof on the Warm Springs Booster Pump Station. Over $80,000 was spent on repairing water main breaks alone.”
    Mattison also wrote that the only significant capital improvement project in the upcoming fiscal year budget is replacing the aging backup generator at the Warm Springs Booster Pump Station at an estimated price of $60,000. She wrote that this project will be “critical to provide reliable and consistent service to our customers during times of power outages.”
    Hall said the cost of providing water and sewage services goes up faster than inflation rates. He added that the city government also must comply with federal and environmental regulations.
    “Our property values are predicated upon delivering these essential services,” Hall said in an interview. “Robyn (Mattison) is a great professional and when she wants something done, you get out of the way and support her.”
    In the 2012-13 fiscal year, the flat monthly sewer rate was $22.56. For the upcoming fiscal year, the rate will be $23.67 as a result of the increase.
    Mattison’s recommendation for higher sewer rates stated that wastewater revenues are expected to reach $1,385,500 in the 2013-14 fiscal year, generating $48,000 more than the year before. In addition to Ketchum’s revenues, the Sun Valley Water and Sewer District will provide $812,000 towards operational and capital improvement costs.
    The total cost of wastewater expenditures in the fiscal year 2013-14 budget is $2,566,541.
    “The deficit (approximately $347,000) in FY 2013-14 will be covered by the Wastewater Fund Reserve account or Wastewater Capital Improvement Fund Reserve account,” Mattison wrote.
Eric Avissar:

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.