The city of Frisco increased its water and sewer rates by 5 percent and 14 percent, respectively, for the average utility customer.
This equates to the average utility customer paying 17 cents per 1,000 gallons more for water and 58 cents per 1,000 gallons more for sewer services.
The minimum fee for residential water bills—what residents pay for up to the first 2,000 gallons—will increase from $16.35 to $17.17, and the minimum for residential sewer bills will increase from $20.47 to $23.34.
Utility customers will see the new rates take effect in their January 2016 bill, which will include water consumption from December.
The city’s rate increase is in response to the North Texas Municipal Water District, the potable water distributer for the North Texas region, increasing its water rates for fiscal year 2015-16. Water rates charged by the NTMWD, which includes 13 large member cities—including the city of Frisco—have been increasing by at least 10 percent each year since FY 2011-12.
The NTMWD’s member cities pay a wholesale water rate that includes a portion paying for capital infrastructure costs and a portion paying for the water consumed by the city, NTMWD Public Relations Manager Janet Rummel said. The cities then in turn determine their own rate structure—which is often more than the NTMWD’s rates—for residential, commercial and industrial customers, she said.
The recent increases of NTMWD rates will be used to fund major projects, such as the $992 million Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir project in Fannin County, NTMWD Director Tom Kula said in a previous Community Impact Newspaper article.
“In the last 20 years our area has doubled in population, and we are due to double again,” Kula said. “Right now we are in the midst of a number of projects to make way for that growth. That’s why we have seen somewhere around 10 to 11 percent increases annually with our water rate.”
“For most of the cities we serve, NTMWD is seeing consumption levels increase to amounts consistent with usage prior to the drought. ...”
—Janet Rummel, NTMWD public relations manager
The district has about 1.6 million customers in 2015—a number that is expected to increase to an estimated 3.7 million customers by 2070. Frisco’s population hit 150,000 this August.
This calendar year the district has seen higher-than-usual water consumption after heavy rains in the spring and few to no watering restrictions this summer, Rummel said.
For August through September this year, Frisco used 2.9 billion gallons of water, whereas the city used 2.6 billion gallons of water in August and September 2014.
“For most of the cities we serve, NTMWD is seeing consumption levels increase to amounts consistent with usage prior to the drought—when there were no watering restrictions in place,” Rummel said.