Tammy Mutasa, Garland/Mesquite Reporter
A Rowlett resident is frustrated over the increasing water rates the city is enacting. Assistant City Manager Brian Funderburk says it's the biggest increase in almost a decade but stems from the cost to maintain the city's pipeline.
Rowlett is bracing for its biggest water rate increase in nearly a decade.
Starting Oct. 1, 2012 water and sewer bills will be going up $11.95 monthly per customer.
Assistant City Manager Brian Funderburk said it was the most significant increase he has seen in nearly 10 years.
"It is a lot of money for our customers, and it is the biggest increase we have done in a while," he said.
A big part of the reason for the increase is to maintain the city's pipelines, which have gone downhill after the 2006 and 2011 droughts. Rowlett will increase its water rates by $8.65 per month to provide additional annual funding of $2 million in annual capital maintenance.
"All of this is capital-related, and we feel like we are at a place where we have no choice," Funderburk said. "We are going to raise $2 million a year for our capital maintenance program."
In addition, the North Texas Municipal Water District is raising member rates by 14 percent -- which means another $3.05 monthly increase.
The district is building a $300 million pipeline to transport water from Lake Texoma, which is infested with zebra mussels to a Lake Lavon treatment plant.
Also, Garland, which treats wastewater for Rowlett residents, will be increasing its rates by 2.5 percent -- another 25 cents per month.
"The reality is, it is ridiculous," resident Mark James said. "When you're retired and on a fixed income, you're looking at trying to save money, and water bills in Rowlett is one of the reasons why we're thinking of leaving Rowlett."
Refuse and drainage fees will stay the same. Click here for more information on the water hike.