City of Nampa

Posted on: December 21, 2016

City plans two open houses; Council sets Jan. 17 public hearing on proposed 2017 water rate hike

The city of Nampa will hold two open houses during the first week of January to answer questions concerning a proposed domestic water rate hike that that will be the subject of a public hearing during the Jan. 17 City Council meeting.

The open houses will be held Wednesday, Jan. 4, at Nampa Civic Center and Thursday, Jan. 5, at Snake River Elementary School. Both open houses are scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m.

The proposed domestic water increase is part of a three-year plan to bring water rates in line with the cost of service and provide funding for much needed improvements in the water delivery system. Two years ago, the City of Nampa conducted an extensive study to evaluate the cost of domestic water delivery to homeowners and what needed to be done to maintain the city’s aging water system. Domestic water includes all water consumed in your home whether it is for drinking, preparing food, bathing, washing clothes and dishes, brushing teeth or any other household water use.

The Nampa City Council in January 2016 approved a water rate increase, effective March 1, 2016. At that same time, the City Council indicated it would revisit this issue in 2017 and 2018, because the study recommended similar increases for domestic water rates in the next two years. After that, annual increases of 4.5 percent are likely, beginning in 2019, so customers don’t have large increases later on.

These are not automatic rate increases. Proposed increases must be approved by City Council.

The extensive water rate study found serious deficiencies in the city’s water delivery system. Nampa’s aging water system has worked silently for years without significant pipe replacement. Without reinvestment, the city could be headed for a water crisis characterized by unplanned outages, emergency repairs and even higher costs. Emergency repairs can cost 15 times more than planned replacement because they frequently require overtime staff hours, result in property damage, and can occur under newly paved roadways.

Current funding barely covers operations and basic maintenance costs. An additional $33.4 million will be needed over the next 10 years to fund replacement of old pipes and valves along with improvements to pumps, wells and reservoirs.

Rates are different for residential and commercial properties. Please note that some residential customers live in either non-single family or even commercial or industrial zones – and those rates are higher. If you have questions about your water bill, call (208) 468-5711 or send an email to: utility@cityofnampa.us

RESIDENTIAL ZONED PROPERTIES: If the City Council approves the proposed rate increase for 2017, the average residential bill of $24.77 will increase to $28.19 (every two months) in 2017, effective March 1. That breaks down to $1.71 more per month. To learn more about costs and how the proposed rate hike would affect them, customers with single residential-zoned properties should visit http://www.cityofnampa.us/residentialwaterincrease.

COMMERCIAL ZONED PROPERTIES: The average commercial customer has a 1" meter, consumes 7,600 cubic feet of water and currently pays $78.87 every two months. If the City Council approves the proposed rate increase for 2017 the average bill will increase to $103.76 (every two months) in 2017, effective March 1. That breaks down to $12.45 more per month. Some commercial properties are residential. Customers with commercial zoned properties should visit http://www.cityofnampa.us/commercialwaterincrease.
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PUBLIC OPEN HOUSES SCHEDULED

• Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, at Nampa Civic Center, 311 3rd St., S., Nampa. Drop by anytime from 5 to 7 p.m.

• Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, at Snake River Elementary School, 500 Stampede Drive, Nampa. Drop by anytime from 5 to 7 p.m.

At the open house, city staff will present information about the planned improvements and your domestic water bill increase. You can talk with city staff, ask questions and provide comments.
The rate increase public hearing will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Nampa City Hall Council Chambers, 411 3rd St. S., Nampa, Idaho. Public hearings start at 7 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to provide up to 3 minutes of public testimony regarding the proposed domestic water rate increase.

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