Colorado Springs Utilities Water Rate Hike

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Right now conditions are pretty dry so you may be watering your yard already, but brace yourself because at the beginning of February your water bill automatically went up 41 percent. Depending on how much water you use, it could be even higher.

One Colorado Springs man did the math. Ken Boschert says, "Most people aren't looking at their water bills until the summer months."

That's why Boschert developed a spread sheet to see just how much more he'd have to pay for water during the critical summer months. He found a 48 1/2% increase in the access charge, the amount he pays to have water delivered to his home and a 45 percent hike based on the amount of water he used last summer.

Boschert found, "When I apply that my bill goes up $56 this July if I use the same amount of water."

Spokesman Steve Berry with Colorado Springs Utilities blames the water price spike on the downturn in the economy saying the drastic drop in housing starts means Colorado Springs Utilities has to make up a $40-million shortfall; a trend that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

Berry says, "We were averaging 4,000 to 5,000 new homes a year and there are some projections that put us around 750 in 2009. That's so unprecedented. That could be a huge impact and concern for us as a utility."

Call For Action also heard from customers upset about new $2 to $3 convenience charges, but they only affect those who use Western Union Speedpay or go to a bank or grocery store to pay their bills.

One good thing about the economic turmoil, we're all paying closer attention to our bills. Just remember the more water you use the more you'll have to pay.

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