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WOODS CROSS RESIDENTS FACE RISING WATER RATES

SHARE WOODS CROSS RESIDENTS FACE RISING WATER RATES

Residents here will soon see a hike in water fees.

The City Council approved a budget Monday afternoon for the 1996-97 fiscal year, which includes a water rate increase from $7 to $8 for 8,000 gallons of water per month, and from 87 cents to $1 for each 1,000 gallons above that.The increase is needed to maintain water fund cash reserves between $100,000 and $200,000, city administrator Gary Uresk said. The reserve finances unforeseen expenses during the year.

Residents won't feel the pinch as much as the city's industrial users. Uresk estimates that industrial users, most notably Crysen Refining, will pay a total of $28,500 in over-age fees next year, compared to $4,700 for residential users.

The estimated average monthly water bill for residents will be $8.61, compared to $105.29 for industries.

Industrial users paid less than residents per unit of water until a few years ago.

West Bountiful residents pay the most for water in south Davis County, with $1.50 per 1,000 gallons base and $1 per 1,000 gallons overage, according to Uresk. Centerville checks in at second with $1.46 per 1,000 gallons base and $1 per 1,000 gallons overage. Residents of unincorporated county pay the least at 85 cents base and 70 cents overage.

After discussing a possible garbage fee increase at length in previous meetings, the Woods Cross council finally decided against it. Instead, the city will do some financial maneuvering to take care of the garbage fund without soaking residents.

About six years ago the city bought new garbage cans for automated collection, paying the $70,000 to $80,000 cost out of the city's capital improvements fund. The garbage fund has been repaying the capital improvements fund $6,000 to $7,000 per year. With that payment, next year the city would have had to raise garbage rates to keep the garbage fund in the black.

Instead of raising rates, the City Council decided simply to forgive the debt it had been paying to itself. (Accountants call that "residual equity transfer" from one fund to another.)

About $43,000 remained to be paid.

A grand total of two residents showed up to the public hearing held before the budget was adopted. The meeting was held at a special time to accommodate councilman Larry Landward, who couldn't make the regular Tuesday time.

Councilman Darin Hicks made the most noise at the hearing, objecting to language in Uresk's budget message that stated, "The goal of the city is to continue to work at attracting retail business into the city . . . ."

Woods Cross isn't working to attract businesses, Hicks said. "I think we're happy the way we are."

The council voted to change the language. Instead of attracting business, Woods Cross is now working to "keep healthy" its businesses.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Water rate comparison: South Davis County

JURISDICTION MINIMUM PER 1,000 GALLONS OVERAGE PER 1,000 GALLONS

Bountiful $1 $0.73

Centerville $1.46 $1.00

Farmington $1.42 $0.80

North Salt Lake $1.04 $0.72

South Davis

(unicorporated) $0.85 $0.70

West Bountiful $1.50 $1

Wood Cross $1 $1