League City City Council raises water rates

(Courtesy city of League City)
(Courtesy city of League City)

(Courtesy city of League City)

After League City City Council’s unanimous vote Feb. 25, water and wastewater rates will rise steadily over the next four years, though commercial businesses will see greater increases than residents.

“A lot more burden is put on the larger meters and the commercial customers,” Council Member Larry Millican said.

The existing base water rate for all water users, residential or commercial, is $7.13 per month. Users are charged $1.50 per 1,000 gallons per month for the first 3,000 gallons used, then $5.50 per 1,000 gallons per month for using 3,001 to 10,000 gallons, $7 per 1,000 gallons per month for using 10,001 to 25,000 gallons and finally $8.50 per 1,000 gallons for using more than 25,000 gallons.

Under the new water rates, which start in April, water rates will be based on water meter sizes. Those with smaller meters, such as residents, will be charged less, but larger meters, such as those for businesses, will be charged more. This was done to put more of the cost burden on those who use water the most, city officials said.

Under the new rates, by 2024, those with 3/4-inch meters will see a base charge of $8.26 and a charge of $2.50 per 1,000 gallons used per month for the first 3,000 gallons used, then $6.38 per 1,000 gallons per month for using 3,001 to 10,000 gallons, $8.11 per 1,000 gallons per month for using 10,001 to 25,000 gallons and $9.85 per 1,000 gallons for using more than 25,000 gallons.


Meanwhile, those with 2-inch meters by 2024 will see a base charge of $20 and a charge of $2.50 per 1,000 gallons used per month for the first 3,000 gallons used, then $6.38 per 1,000 gallons per month for using 3,001 to 10,000 gallons, $8.11 per 1,000 gallons per month for using 10,001 to 25,000 gallons and $9.85 per 1,000 gallons for using more than 25,000 gallons.

On the commercial side, those with 8-inch meters by 2024 will see a base charge of $85 and a charge of $4.50 per 1,000 gallons used per month for the first 3,000 gallons used, then $6.84 per 1,000 gallons per month for using over 3,000 gallons.

By 2024, the monthly base wastewater rate of $13.88 will rise to $15.32. Residents and businesses will see increases based on monthly wastewater rate usage as well.

There are several different water and wastewater rates for differing sizes of meters for both residences and commercial properties.

City Manager John Baumgartner said the city has spent most of the last couple years looking at water rates to afford the $501 million water system upgrades and projects the city is looking to complete over the next decade. The last increase was in 2015, he said.

Mayor Pat Hallisey said like tax increases, no one likes seeing water rate increases, but there is no alternative to increasing rates, especially as the city continues to grow.

Council Member Hank Dugie said the council has traditionally put off raising water rates until it is unavoidable, and that time is now.

“We can’t just put our head in the sand and hope it goes away,” he said.

Council Member Chad Tressler agreed it was not ideal to raise water rates.

“None of us want to do this,” he said.

One resident, Marika Fuller, asked the council to help senior citizens who cannot afford water rate increases. Council Member Nick Long said he is not in favor of classifying residents by age or other factors and charging different classes of residents different rates. Hallisey said the city could consider ways to help lighten the financial burden on seniors.
By Jake Magee

Editor, Bay Area & Pearland/Friendswood

Jake has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper. Today, he covers everything from aerospace to transportation to flood mitigation.


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