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.