First, the bad news. Next year, the city estimates that residential users will pay 5.7 percent more for water, according to City Manager Mary Suhm's latest budget briefing (page 35). Wilonsky told you it was coming, right after the city hiked rates last year, again more than five percent.
The briefing doesn't delve too deeply into why, stating only that it's to "continue commitment to provide high quality and sufficient water and wastewater service to meet customer needs." The briefing from August is more specific. Mostly the pipeline project to Lake Palestine and improvements to outdated pipes and water treatment plants.
Now, the good news. This year's increase will be less than the 7.3 percent Suhm predicted in August.
"Years out, our predictions are pretty broad, so we'll continue to fine tune," Suhm said.
Also, the projected increase for the year after next is only 3.8 percent. That's barely half of the 6.7 percent slated for next year, which is good in away.
The briefing only covered residential rates. Councilman Scott Griggs asked Suhm for information about rates paid by commercial and industrial users, which she promised to provide.
"I just want to see that we're not putting all the burden on our residents," Griggs said. "I want to see that cost shared by everyone we supply water to. It appears that residential is doing their fair share."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.