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Las Cruces water utility customers will see 24 percent rate hike

Las Cruces utility customers will soon see a 24 percent water rate hike, according to the department.

“We haven’t increased rates in over nine years,” said Jose Provencio, the business services administrator for the utilities department.

The change will take place in September or October. Customers will either see an immediate 24 percent increase or a gradual increase over a three-year period, Provencio said.

“When you look at all the expenses that have changed, as well as some of the projects we’ve had to conduct, it’s time to true up the rates,” Provencio said.

A utility advisory customer group has gathered public input over the past three weeks and will make a presentation to the utilities board, Provencio said. The board can then take those recommendations or make changes before presenting its findings to the Las Cruces City Council, which will likely happen in August.

“After nine years, construction costs have risen dramatically,” Provencio said. “The goal is to have more frequent reviews, but in this case, at nine years, we have to true up.”

Provencio cited a rise in construction costs, salaries, benefits and inflation. The department is also currently reviewing the rates for sewer services.

Customers who use 5,000 gallons a month will pay close to an additional $3.46 a month. Those who use closer to 10,000 gallons will see close to an additional $7.82 a month.

“The city is growing and adding new customers every day,” Provencio said. “It involves providing clean, reliable service to all customers at all times of day.”

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