Richardson residents to save on utilities following water district decision to keep base rate flat

The district raises water and sewer rates primarily to pay for capital investments, NTMWD spokesperson Janet Rummel said. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
The district raises water and sewer rates primarily to pay for capital investments, NTMWD spokesperson Janet Rummel said. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

The district raises water and sewer rates primarily to pay for capital investments, NTMWD spokesperson Janet Rummel said. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

For the first time in nearly 15 years, the North Texas Municipal Water District has adopted a budget that includes no increase to its wholesale water rate.

The fiscal year 2020-21 budget keeps the rate flat at $2.99 per 1,000 gallons of treated water for its member cities, which include Richardson, according to a Sept. 25 news release.

The district raises water and sewer rates primarily to pay for capital investments, NTMWD spokesperson Janet Rummel said.

In previous years, Richardson has passed those rate increases onto residents. In FY 2019-20, Richardson implemented a 7.5% rate increase, resulting in an additional $7.90 tacked onto the average residential monthly bill, according to previous reporting by Community Impact Newspaper.

City officials were notified this summer that the water district did not intend to raise its wholesale rate in FY 2020-21, Director of Communications Greg Sowell said. This allowed the city to adopt a budget that did not include a water rate increase for residents for the first time since FY 2010-11, he added. Richardson residents pay an $8 minimum rate per meter before being charged for per-gallon use.


Interim Executive Director Rodney Rhoades cited the COVID-19 crisis as the reason behind keeping the rate flat. Rather than relying on revenue from member cities, the district is opting to use reserves and debt to fund capital projects and is also cutting costs related to existing facilities, according to the release. It is also rescheduling bond sales for some capital projects and is scaling back on hiring.

“I appreciate how hard our staff worked to adjust plans, projects and programs to decrease spending and minimize impacts on our cities,” Rhoades said in the release.

For more information on Richardson's water rate, visit this link.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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