Colorado Springs City Council approves water rate increase

Posted at 6:21 PM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 20:21:14-04

The Colorado Springs City Coucil approved a half percent increase to water bills to fund watering city parks, green spaces and urban forests.

City council members, who also serve as the city’s utilities board, approved the measure on a 6-3 vote. Council members Knight, Pico and Murray opposed it.

In April, the Parks Department said it needed about $4.5 million to water city-owned parks. This fee is expected to make back $1.125 million in 2019 and 2.25 million in 2020. It’s expected to cost the average residential customer an additional $0.34 per month in 2019, that increases to $0.68 per month in 2020.

However, there’s a chance Colorado Springs Utilities customers might not face a rate hike, if we see more rain in the forecast. The increase is dependent upon the weather.

Council member Andy Pico previously told News 5 he opposed the measure because he thought the city should allocate money from the city budget to cover the money needed to effectively water the parks.

Council President Richard Skorman voted for the increase. He said recent dry conditions could cause the city to lose thousands of trees, which is why he voted yes.

"We have about 5 million trees in Colorado Springs, and we’re losing about 2,000 to 3,000 of them a year to the drought, especially after this last winter," Skorman said in an earlier interview with News 5.