It Could Cost More To Flush

In a unanimous vote of members in attendance at the January 20 regular meeting, the Truth or Consequences Public Utility Advisory Board (PUAB) supported a recommendation calling for a ten-percent customer rate increase for municipal wastewater services.
The proposed hike was deemed necessary due to present infrastructure and department needs. The added fee would come in addition to a 20-percent increase approved by city commissioners on June 24, 2014, and would bring the total fee increase to 30-percent above the current rates. The June 24 rate increase was a requirement tied to the acquisition of a $4.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant/loan for planned wastewater treatment plant upgrades.
Outlining the proposed measure, city manager Juan Fuentes and wastewater department administrative assistant Traci Burnette explained that despite the 20-percent rate increase, the wastewater department’s expenditures were exceeding budgeted revenues and posing a continuing hindrance on operations…