Nov 24, 2009 9:01 PM by News First 5

Utility bill likely to go up

Your utility bill may go up next year.  Colorado Springs City Council gave initial approval to the increase at a public hearing on Tuesday.

Utilities is proposing a 2.3% increase to residential customers on water, wastewater and utilities.  Natural gas would go down.  An average residential bill of $180.21  would increase $4.18 while commercial bills would go down 4.6%..

Utilities says the rate increase is necessary because they have to make several system improvements.  "A lot of that is based on regulatory mandates,"  said Dave Grossman, a spokesperson for Colorado Springs Utilities.  "For example, we need to invest about $160 million in emissions control equipment at the Drake Power Plant by 2015 and as you know utilities projects take years, even decades to complete," he added.

Council spent a long time discussing a discrepency on the payment in lieu of tax - or PILT - that the city auditor calculated and the one utilities used.  They want answers about this before making a final decision.

Rates went up 12% in February on electric, water and wastewater.  City Council will decide on the rate increase on Dec 8.

     if it passes, it will take effect january first.



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