EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso Water officials presented their proposed budget for the coming year to the city's Public Service Board on Tuesday evening, which if approved would raise the typical homeowner's bill by over $6 a month.
The budget plan includes a 9% increase in water rates, a 13% increase in wastewater rates, and 9% increase in stormwater fees.
EP Water President and CEO John Balliew, in making his budget pitch, acknowledged issues with flood control during this year's monsoon season as well as the failure of a major wastewater main on the west side that led to sewage being discharged into the Rio Grande.
Balliew indicated the money generated from the rate and fee increase would be used to address the water utility's aging infrastructure and improve drainage in flood prone areas.
But the largest proposed expenditure in the budget proposal is a $500 million upgrade and expansion of the Roberto R. Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant, which serves the growing east side of El Paso. The investment will extend the life of that facility by several decades, officials maintained.
The Public Service Board is slated to vote on the El Paso Water budget at its Jan. 11 meeting. If its approved, the monthly residential water bill increase of $6.37 would take effect as of March 1 of next year.