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City council votes to raise utility rates

By Kati Moody

The Levelland City Council approved Ordinance No. 1022 on first reading, increasing water, wastewater and garbage rates.

Rejino showed council at a previous meeting that of 13 comparable cities in the region, Levelland was the second lowest on utility rates. By raising the rates as proposed, the city would still be third lowest, assuming the other cities did not raise their rates as well.

It was proposed to raise the water availability rate by $1, to raise the water rate five percent, garbage rate 3.25 percent and sewer rate 15 percent.

For an average home that uses 5,000 gallons per bill cycle, Rejino said customers would see an approximate overall increase of $5.67 on their utility bill.

Rejino said the increases allow the city to remain competitive with other cities in the region, but also make up for some of the money being spent in this year’s enterprise fund budget.

“There’s over $1 million in TCEQ projects we are required to do and we’re doing it out of fund balance,” Rejino said. “The enterprise fund is designed to be self-sustainable, so if costs go up it needs to be covered by our rates.”

The vote was 3-1 in favor of approving the ordinance on the first reading. Jim Myatt voted against the ordinance.

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