The City Of Tyler, TX Wants To Raise Your Water Bill, Here’s Why
Before you get upset based off the headline, let me start this by saying that this is just a PROPOSAL for right now so don't go storming into the utilities office just yet. Take a moment to read what the city is proposing.
Tyler Water Utilities (TWU) wants to change how customers are charged.
As part of the fiscal year ’23 budget process, TWU is proposing to move from a declining rate structure (where water and sewer services become cheaper the more you use) to a uniform volumetric rate structure where you pay the same rate regardless of utilization. According to the City Manager Edward Broussard, Tyler is one of the last cities in Texas that still uses the declining rate structure and he says that the city has to get updated "to promote water conservation and equity within our system".
The new structure will be phased in over the next five years.
As part of the shift, the City will no longer subsidize the first 2,000 gallons of each customer’s bill. Customers will be charged for the total amount of water they use. This transition along with increases for environmental compliance, stormwater management and service fees to promote water conservation, fund infrastructure upgrades, and maintain strict water quality standards set by State and Federal agencies.
The City plans to spend $24.4 million in cash and bond funds on water and sewer improvement projects in the coming year.
Projects include $4.8 million for repair and replacement of new water meters and boxes, two-inch water line replacements throughout the City, updates to the Golden Road Water Treatment Plant, the water system hydraulic model master plan, rehabilitation of the Shiloh Road elevated water storage tank and new raw water pump at Lake Tyler. Another $7.3 million in improvements are slated for the Southside and Westside wastewater treatment plants, utility relocation, emergency sewer repairs and wastewater treatment master plan.
Okay, all of that sounds nice, now how much is it gonna cost me?
If approved, (again this is just a proposal), TWU customers will see an increase of about $20 on their monthly bill. This increase accounts for approximately $12 previously subsidized for the customer’s first 2,000 gallons of water usage on the bills. The storm water collection fees will increase by 1% to reflect costs of maintaining the City’s drainage system. An increase of $5.08 for the regulatory compliance fee is also necessary to service the debt on the $250 million dollar rehabilitation of Tyler’s sanitary sewer system.
Residential solid waste fees could also be raised.
Residential solid waste fees will also increase by $1.28 for twice-weekly collection. This budget also proposes a new, lower tax rate of $0.261850. The City of Tyler remains the lowest tax rate of any city in Smith County and the lowest among Texas cities with populations greater than 15,000. The taxable values in Tyler for FY 2023 will bring in about $26.8 million in property taxes, which is a $2 million increase from last year. If adopted, the property tax rate will be allocated to the expanding public safety services.
If You Don't Agree With Rate Hikes, Attend The Public Meetings And Let Your Voice Be Heard.
The budget's final adoption is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Sept. 14 meeting at Tyler City Hall but you can share your input by attending one of two Council meetings at Tyler City Hall, 212 N. Bonner Ave. Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 9 a.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 9 a.m.