By Landan Kuhlmann
Increased utility rates for Sugar Land residents that were approved by the city council in September took effect on New Year’s Day. Community members will now see an increase in their water and residential waste bills each month, according to the city.
A news release from the city said residents with 10,000 gallons of water usage and an average of 6,000 gallons of winter usage will pay roughly $10 more per month, while those with 5,000 gallons of water usage and 3,000 gallons per winter will see bills increase by about $6 per month.
The water rate increase is a part of the city’s Integrated Water Resource Plan (IWRP), which was adopted in 2019 in order to meet the 60 percent groundwater reduction mandate set by the Fort Bend Subsidence District Regulatory Plan. In November, the city also approved a contract with NewGen Strategies and Solutions, LLC, for phases two and three of a utility rate study.
The city’s last full utility rate study was done in 2007 and resulted in the current rate structure, which prior to 2020 had not been increased since 2011, except for surface water rates in 2014, according to the city. Data from the city’s website shows its population has grown almost 56 percent since the last study, from 76,228 in 2007 to an estimated 118,848 in 2020.
The city said residential solid waste will now cost $19.76 per month, a 38-cent increase, which is based on a 1.95 percent Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase included in the city’s contract with Republic Services.
“As Sugar Land’s population has increased, so has the burden on our utility system,” Director of Finance Jennifer Brown said in a news release. “The increase will allow us to make necessary improvements and meet mandates that will benefit residents for years to come.”
For more information on the increase and the planned study, community members can visit sugarlandtx.gov/1879/2021-Utility-Rate-Changes.