Richmond Plans Ahead For A Sustainable Water Future -
City Commission Adopts the Utility Master Plan to Guide Investment in Water and Sewer Services.
A big role for successful Cities is anticipating and planning for growth, especially for Cities like Richmond that are in the direct relentless path of growth from Houston. “We have to make decisions today to make sure we can address the needs of our residents, both present and in the future, for water and wastewater services of our growing City”, said Howard Christian, Public Works Director for the City of Richmond.
Richmond’s City Commission recently adopted an integrated Utility Master Plan, which includes a Financial Plan on how to fund these investments over the next 10 years, which are consistent with the City’s award winning Comprehensive Master Plan.
“Our consultants were tasked with identifying efficiencies and other cost savings measures that adds value to a plan like this. Since this is a dynamic plan we will, on a yearly basis, revisit both the plan and the costs, to be sure we are tailoring them to the circumstances that actually exist,” said Terri Vela, City Manager.
On Monday, the Commission adopted the 2019 rate changes necessary to maintain existing operations and begin funding the repairs and upgrades recommended in the master plan. This change becomes effective on June 1, 2019. Changes include a 3 percent increase for water services, a 10 percent increase for wastewater and a 10 percent increase to the surface water charge.
What this means to a Richmond resident who uses an average of 5,000 gallons a month, is an increase of $4.70 on their water bill. “We are committed to ensuring our water and wastewater services remain affordable and continue to be one of the best values in the area,” said Terri Vela, City Manager.
City Commissioner Barry Beard added, “While we cherish our heritage, it is incumbent on us to embrace our future. This comprehensive plan will ensure that our water and wastewater services will support quality, responsible growth and economic development opportunities, while maintaining the quality of life our residents and businesses enjoy”.
Also included in the rate changes is an increase to accommodate rising provider costs for garbage and recycling services. A 10 percent “pass through” increase amounting to approximately a $3.00 bill increase was approved for 2019.