Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Weighing options

Staff report

Water rates will be the topic of discussion Thursday morning during a joint committee meeting held by the City of Portales.

City Manager Doug Redmond said the city’s public works committee and finance committee will meet at the Memorial Building to listen to a presentation and recommendation from him concerning water rate increases.

Redmond said his recommendation will be different from the Public Works Committee’s Aug. 19 proposal to raise water rates an additional $31.50 for every customer to pay for the construction and operating costs of the new $27 million wastewater treatment plant and reuse center.

The Portales city council had previously approved the Public Works Committee’s recommendation to increase water rate fees beginning Jan. 1 during the Aug. 19 city council meeting.

The wastewater treatment plant and reuse facility is needed to prolong the life of the city’s well fields Public Works Director John DeSha said in an Aug. 20 report.

DeSha said the well fields will only last 13 more years at the current rate of consumption.

The wastewater treatment plant will extend the life of the city’s wells by four years, according to DeSha.

Redmond said the joint committee meeting is an effort to look at other options available to the city concerning water rates.

“We’ll be looking at the issue so we can make the right decision with the rate increase,” he said.

The presentation and recommendation will be the only item on the meeting’s agenda, according to Redmond.

Redmond said the public is welcome to attend the meeting, but the decision for public comment will be up to the committee members present at the Thursday meeting.