Shenandoah City Council discusses water and sewer rate study

Shenandoah City Council discussed a proposed adjustment to water and sewer rates May 13. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper).
Shenandoah City Council discussed a proposed adjustment to water and sewer rates May 13. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper).

Shenandoah City Council discussed a proposed adjustment to water and sewer rates May 13. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper).

Shenandoah City Council discussed the primary results of a water study during a May 13 meeting to determine what rates should be adjusted to before Oct. 1.

Shenandoah Public Works Director Joseph Peart said the rate study was done as part of a five-year plan so council could have a better understanding of how to plan for expected expenses for water use and operational maintenance.

The study determines the amount needed to maintain the city's water and sewer enterprise fund, which Peart said is not used for profit.

"Ideally, the revenues you bring in are going to cover the expenses you have going out," Peart said. "It is not there to make money. That was one of the key assumptions when determining these rates."

Information regarding the study was presented by John Bleyl, president and CEO of Bleyl Engineering, who gave multiple options to determine the impact of rate increases.


As it currently stands, if a household uses 3,000 gallons of water in a month, the bill is $16.91. The first option presented by Bleyl, which includes financing a portion of the expenses through the Texas Water Development Board Clean Water State Revolving Fund, shows the new bill would be $22.91, with rates for residential water and sewer both increased by $3. Without financing, which Bleyl said his firm is not recommending, the bill would be $24.41.

A household that uses 7,000 gallons per month, which Bleyl said is closer to an average monthly use, the bill is currently at $35.95. With the new rates, the bill would increase to $50.45.

"These rates are tiered rates," Bleyl said. "The more water you use, the more expensive the incremental rate is per 1,000 gallons."

When it comes to producing revenue, Bleyl said the majority comes from commercial use, with residential producing 19% on a monthly basis, or around $37,118. With the new proposed rates with the loan, residents would be lowered to producing 18% of the monthly revenue, or around $51,333, as the cost of commercial use increases.

Bleyl also presented a comparison of current and proposed rates against neighboring communities, including Oak Ridge North, Conroe, Montgomery and Rayford Road MUD. With the proposed changes, including the loan, Shenandoah residents' cost with 10,000 gallons will be $71.85, up from $49.35. The closest comparison in terms of cost is Montgomery, at $93.

According to Bleyl, residential water and sewer bills would still be lower than the other neighboring entities. Commercial customers, on the other hand, would still remain higher than the neighboring communities due to a higher percentage of commercial users.

The last rate change in Shenandoah was made in November 2010.

No decision was made on adjusting the rate change, as the item on the agenda was labeled as discussion-only. Bleyl said his firm recommends adopting a rate change by Oct. 1 to line up with the new fiscal year if council chooses to make the change.
By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.


MOST RECENT

Gwen Sims first joined Harris County Public Health in 1997. (Courtesy Harris County Public Health)
Deputy Director Gwen Sims appointed interim executive director of Harris County Public Health

Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously appointed Gwen Sims to serve as the interim executive director of Harris County Public Health in anticipation of Executive Director Umair Shah's departure Dec. 18.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Hewlett Packard Enterprise to relocate headquarters from Silicon Valley to Springwoods Village

Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced Dec. 1 plans to relocate its headquarters from San Jose, California to a brand new campus in the Greater Houston area, which is under construction in CityPlace at Springwoods Village.

CCEMS provides emergency medical services for approximately 177 square miles of North Harris County. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Judge rules Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 can no longer withhold payments from Cypress Creek EMS

The ESD No. 11 board voted to terminate its contract with CCEMS on Sept. 3 after a long history of disagreements over the two entities’ 16-year relationship.

Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital is undergoing an expansion. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Work on $250M Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital expansion continues, completion expected in 2022

The new patient tower at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital will include for 100 more beds.

To support this initiative, community members are encouraged to visit NAM's Blessing Tree, located at 15555 Kuykendahl Road, Houston, where they can choose a child's name and shop specifically for that child. (Courtesy Northwest Assistance Ministries)
Northwest Assistance Ministries in need of donations to support biggest Season of Blessings campaign in nonprofit's history

Northwest Assistance Ministries is in need of toys, food and monetary donations to provide meals to more than 1,700 families and toys to more than 5,300 children this holiday season. By comparison, the nonprofit provided meals for 994 families and toys for 1,773 children in 2019.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

(Courtesy Press Waffle Co.)
Press Waffle Co. set to open in The Woodlands on Dec. 4

The restaurant features sweet and savory waffles, gourmet milkshakes, and coffee and espresso drinks.

(Courtesy Shake Shack)
The Woodlands area welcomes 3 new dining locations in November with 4th coming soon

Three new dining locations opened around The Woodlands in November, with a fourth coming soon.

Community Impact Newspaper uses data from the Montgomery County Public Health District for weekly case counts. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Active COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County rise 34% over Thanksgiving week from Nov. 23-30

Active cases increased from 2,513 to 3,365; recoveries grew from 10,655 to 11,019; and the death toll has remained the same at 169.

The Montgomery County commissioners discussed reimbursement payments to various entities for coronavirus expenditures. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County Commissioners defer CARES Act reimbursements a week

The requested amounts to the counties are for expenses incurred due to the coronavirus.

Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes Corp. announces plans for remaining commercial development in The Woodlands

The last 700 acres of commercial property to be developed in The Woodlands are located mainly in Town Center or on the periphery of the township, according to The Howard Hughes Corp.