Mountain Regional won’t raise water rates
Ryan Summerlin November 12, 2013
Mountain Regional Water customers will not see a water rate increase next year based on the District’s 2014 tentative budget.
"Depending on customer growth, we might be able to go a couple more years without a rate increase," said Scott Green, Chief Financial Officer with Mountain Regional Water.
A report issued by Mountain Regional said rates could rise by 2015 or 2016 depending on growth. The District has been able to cover its current budget because of the 2011 rate increases.
Mountain Regional Water has interconnected water systems that serve much of the Snyderville Basin, covering an area of over 25,000 acres, according to its website. The District’s Lost Canyon Pump Station, located at Rockport, is now a major water provider for the Basin. Green said they will continue to exchange 2,000 to 2,500 acre-feet of water with Park City.
In 2013, Green said there were 100 new water connections for Mountain Regional, which led to an increase in revenues. Between 2008 and 2012, there was an average of about 30 new connections a year. This boost in connections has helped the District’s budget.
The recent regionalization agreement with the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District will allow Mountain Regional to sell its surplus water until a new project is completed. Under the agreement, Weber Basin will construct and pay for any future water projects. According to a Mountain Regional report, this could be in 10 to 15 years.
Green said Mountain Regional’s 2014 budget will not include many large capital projects. A smaller project will involve replacing the sewer system at Summit Park. Mountain Regional will work in conjunction with the county’s public works department and sewer district to do the fourth phase of that project, which will cost roughly $375,000.
Mountain Regional will also upgrade its pumping capacity in the North Ridge area, which includes Glenwild, Red Hawk and Stagecoach. Green said they are also in discussions with four different developments who are considering annexing into the District, one of which is the Discovery Project.
Debt service payments on behalf of the District will also increase by $1.17 million, though this will be covered by the 2011 rate increases and over $700,000 in special improvement district assessments to be paid by a Promontory developer.
Mountain Regional was formed in 2000 by the Summit County Commission, when several smaller private water companies were dealing with water shortage and quality problems. Green said the District has enough capacity to meet growth demands for the next 20 years, but that the regionalization agreement with Weber Basin will help.
"Weber Basin will build another project to provide water it doesn’t have enough water to meet demand," Green said. "[A future project] will provide us a good backup source if something goes wrong with facilities."