Liberty Hill City Council approved an ordinance to increase water and wastewater rates starting Oct. 1.

What you need to know

Council voted to implement the January 2021 rates from the city’s 2018-19 water and wastewater rate study June 14. Prior to the vote, the city had been implementing the 2019 rates.

According to the city’s rate study, the January 2019 water rate—which were the previous charges—for in-city residential and commercial customers was a monthly minimum charge of $35.09.

The new water rate, which is scheduled to begin in October, is a monthly minimum charge of $37.95.

The January 2019 wastewater rates for in-city residential customers was at a monthly minimum charge of $49.67 per living unit equivalent. Starting in October, the new wastewater rate will be a monthly minimum charge of $57.86 per living unit equivalent.

While council approved the new rates in June, the official passing of an ordinance was required for the rates to begin in October.

In other news

Council also selected respective engineering consultants to start work on the 2023-24 water utility and wastewater master plans.

“[Infrastructure has] to be expanded,” Director of Public Works David Thomison said at the Aug. 23 City Council meeting. “I don’t think that our current rates and impact fees are where they need to be in this day and time. I think they need to be evaluated and reviewed.”

Engineering consultant HDR will be working on the city’s water utility master plan for a total cost of $553,100. Work included in the plan is an update on water impact fees, a water rate analysis, an inventory on existing facilities and systems, and an update on the population and water demand forecast.

For wastewater, engineering consultant CDM Smith Inc. will update the master plan to include a rate study, an update on impact fees and wastewater system modeling, which will cost the city $543,290.

Council Member Chris Pezold stressed the importance of updated impact fees in both master plans.

“The main thing that I want from y’all, that I think this council wants, is those new impact fees with documentation behind them so we can go forth and charge correctly,” he said.

Reports on both the water and wastewater master plans are scheduled to be completed in 2024.