This story was updated to reflect the correct Capital Improvement Projects total.
Friendswood City Council is set to officially approve water and sewer rate hikes at its Feb. 4 meeting. The new rates, which would increase the average bill by 21 percent, received initial approval from the council at the Jan. 14 meeting.
The proposed rates will raise the average bill from $144 to $175 per pay period, or every two months. The proposal raises both the base fee and the usage rates for water and sewer. However, residents who use 10,000 gallons of water a month or less would not see a change in water usage fees until 2020.
Residents could cut usage to combat higher water and sewer usage rates. However, the proposal would also raise base fees, which a resident cannot avoid without changing out their water meter.
The new rates are proposed to pay for the city’s water and sewer capital improvement projects, including a 42-inch water line connecting Friendswood to the city of Houston, a project the city is required to help fund.
“These aren’t projects that are luxury items,” Friendswood City Manager Morad Kabiri said. “These are projects that we’re contractually obligated with partners in our various regional facilities to tackle.”
The 42-inch water line will cost the city roughly $12.8 million in the next two years, making it the most expensive item on the city’s $32.5 million CIP. This water line, the cost of which will be shared between eight governing entities, will meet current and existing water needs for the area, said Erin Jones, public information officer for Houston Public Works.
The council meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at Friendswood City Hall, located at 910 S. Friendswood Drive.