As park manager at Millsite State Park I would like to express my concern with the water rate increase proposed by the Castle Valley Special Service District. If the proposed increase is adopted several rate changes will go into effect. The first change will increase the base rate and in our case this will increase our base rate from $17.75 per month to $30.
This rate increase covers the first 10,000 gallons and is a small increase concerning our park operation and will have no affect on current operations. I believe most folks affected by this rate increase proposal do not have a major problem with the base rate increase. What is a cause for concern is the rate increase for every 1,000 gallons used after the initial 10,000 gallons. Currently we are charged $1.85 for every 1,000 gallons used after the first 10,000 gallons. The proposed rate increase will charge $5 (over $5 if the city tacks on an administrative fee like they do now) per 1,000 gallons used after the first 10,000 gallons.
If you compare what other communities in close proximity to ours are paying you will notice this rate increase is clearly over the top and 40 percent higher then the next highest rate which is $3 per 1,000 gallons in Sunnyside.
This increase will have a major impact on area families and businesses that rely heavily on city water but are outside the city limits. For us at the state park, we will see a drop in visitation due to the changes that would have to be implemented. Unfortunately this rate increase for the park(estimated at $60,000) could not be accommodated in our budget and would mean eliminating our grass day use/camping areas in favor of xeriscaping and possibly closing down our modern restrooms and returning to vault toilets. Why does the district want to triple our rates? Have their costs for maintaining and operating outside water connections tripled?
Rate increase's happen we all know that, but it sure seems to me that this rate increase is not a reasonable one and I hope the service district will think long and hard about the impacts this will have on folks. I think there is plenty of opportunity to come up with a fair and reasonable increase that we can all live with, one that won't break the bank.