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El Paso

El Paso Water bills to go up for thousands starting March 1

EL PASO, Texas -- Rates for El Paso Water customers will go up starting March 1. Typical residential customers will see a monthly rate increase of $1.37.

On Wednesday, the El Paso Public Service Board approved the utility company's Water, Wastewater and Stormwater budgets, a combined total of $508 million for fiscal year 2021-2022.

(Source: El Paso Water)

“Our financial plan did call for a five percent increase to our water and wastewater rates," said Christina Montoya-Halter, a spokeswoman for El Paso Water. But with the financial difficulties for it's customers in mind, "our team and our CEO and the board acknowledged that we need to scale back a little bit."

Instead, only increasing the budget by two percent for water/wastewater and slightly increasing the storm water rate for the first time in about five years.

Montoya-Halter said delaying this increase would've meant larger rate increases in the future.

"We've found, and gotten feedback from customers that it's much better to do small incremental rate increases to be able to pay for keeping a sustainable water supply and services for a community," she said.

The only one to oppose the budget increases was Mayor Oscar Leeser.

"We're in the middle of the pandemic," Leeser said. "A lot of businesses are struggling with their budget, some homeowners are struggling with their budgets and it's very important that we continue to not go up on a lot of our rates on utilities." 

El Paso Water said it had helped more than 2,000 customers pay their water bills thanks to $500,000 in CARES Act funding along with monies from Project Amistad and Project Bravo.

The utility said it is also setting up payment plans for customers who haven’t been able to pay their bills on time because of Covid-19. 

Both El Paso Water officials and Mayor Leeser said they hope more federal funding will become available to help customers.

In the below video player you can watch the entire board meeting and see complete budget breakdowns.

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Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. The El Paso Public Service Board are real pieces of work. You increase the rate during an ongoing pandemic!!!! People can’t pay the rent and you put the squeeze on just a lil more, this is greed plain and simple. Now is not the time to increase ANY rate on public service and to me that is painfully obvious. Kvia please put up the members names and email so they can really hear from residents

  2. As the mayor rightly pointed out, we’re in the midst of a pandemic and so many people and businesses are struggling. Oh, but they’re hoping for more federal money. Oh, goody. The water here is already so expensive and it tastes awful.

  3. Nothing but morons running the show, let’s build more water parks since we don’t have enough water. The water here is not only nasty tasting but it so hard it destroys water heaters in less than 5 years. The PSB are no more than legal thieves that make enough money off the backs of real “working” people they have no concern for the “little” peons that they legally rape of their hard earned dollars

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