West Lake Hills City Council adopts new water rates

West Lake Hills City Council unanimously approved new water rates at a special meeting held June 6.

The new rates will increase over the next 15 years, rising 5 percent per year starting in 2013 for the next six years. This increase is 1 percent lower than what LCRA had planned for the same time period, resulting in a projected total savings of $311 for residential customers in that time frame.

The newly adopted rates will then rise 4 percent from 2019–24 and 2 percent from 2025–27 before flattening off until 2032.

"We have to adopt [these rates] and give them to the Attorney General's Office and adopt this ordinance that says what the rates are going to be," Mayor Dave Claunch said at the meeting. "Really, it's just a starting point to assure the [attorney general] and the bond holders that we are serious about doing what we need to do to raise rates to where they need to be."

While the newly adopted rates run until 2032, council may change the rates from year to year depending on circumstances.

"As conditions change every year, city councils cannot be bound by previous councils' decisions and can undo anything we do," Claunch told the council.

Council discussed a number of proposals in an attempt to find something that future councils would not need to change unless rates could be reduced.