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City of Ammon publishes water rates

The city of Ammon has been considering water metering rates since the 1970’s. The subject has been up for debate throughout the years, but recently the mayor and Ammon City Council told the city staff to publish a water rate.

“That does not mean they’ve adopted a rate at this time,” said Micah Austin, the city administrator for the city of Ammon. “What that means is that they’ve directed staff to publish that rate and invite the public to give us feedback on that proposed rate.”

The recommended water rates for all residential metered customers are $30 for a base rate and then $1 for every thousand gallons of usage.

“If you used no gallons of water, no water per month, you would pay a $30 base rate and then any amount of usage at all, you would pay $1 per 1,000 gallons per water usage,” Austin said.

City staff recommended approving the water rates for a few reasons.

The current rates were not sustainable and it puts the water system at risk.

“The current water rate system does not fully sustain the system for the foreseeable future,” Austin said.

The city believes the proposed rates can maintain the water fund and bring in enough money for up keep on the system.

“The city of Ammon and all of its water customers will have a sustainable water system for the foreseeable future,” Austin said. “The city of Ammon can deliver a quality service, quality water for the foreseeable future.”

The city also has been working with a water engineering firm, Keller Associates.

“They studied all of our infrastructure and the system and based on (their) study, one the recommendations was that the city move to a metered water rate system,” Austin said.

Commercial customers are already on metered rates. The metered water rates that the city is considering affects residential customers.

Austin said they install water meters at every new home. Currently, more than 3,700 residents are on meters.

“We need to install about 1,500 remaining,” Austin said. “Those 1,500 remaining customers are in the original Ammon town side and other areas of the city that were developed prior to the time we started installing meters.”

Since announcing this plan, Austin said one thing they hear a lot from the public is that they want everyone to be on these water rates.

The city will still hold a public hearing before the possible rates are official. The public hearing is set for Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

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