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Water rates in Reno-Sparks to increase in May

Photo: Jenn Durfey / Flickr / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Water rates will soon be going up for residents in the Reno-Sparks area.

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority Board of Directors voted unanimously to pass an increase of three percent.

Customers will begin seeing this change starting May 2017, with another three percent increase in May 2018. TWMA stated that the average residential customer's water bill is expected to rise by $1.42 per month.

Although customers have cut back on the water usage, the conservation has caused water sales to drop. Costs remain the same, which is why the water utility's staff said the increase rate is needed.

TWMA's Chief Finance Officer Michele Sullivan explained that last year some bonds were refunded with an interest-only payment for three years. TMWA will have to start paying the principal in 2020. It is said to be a $10 million debt.

"A rate increase is always bad timing. I have to pay the rates too. I'm not happy about it," said Andy Gebhardt, TMWA Director of Operations and Water Quality. "But we know we have to do it, in order to keep the company solvent and make sure we're prudent and we're doing the best we can for our customers."

The TMWA Board of Directors will also have the option of implementing an additional 2.5 percent increase in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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