Utility Rate Hike?

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The Colorado Springs City Council will vote on a utility rate hike next month. If it's approved, city councilman Lionel Rivera says you could see a 5% increase on your bill starting in January.

Under the plan, water rates would jump 8.5 %. You'd also see a 10% increase in wastewater rates, and a $2.25 fee for new streetlights. Rivera says that means the average household will pay $7-8 more a month.

By 2005, Colorado Springs Utilities plans to have a new water treatment plant up and running. With it, higher bills, but in return, more water.

The plan includes new ways to pump in 13 million gallons of water a day from the Upper Arkansas River basin. It also calls for an expansion of the use of non-potable water to free up millions of gallons of drinking water. New wells would also be drilled north of town if the drought continues.

Combined, those projects will total about $75 million. CSU also plans to build a second water treatment plant, costing an additional $64 million. The utility company has already committed $30 million to these projects next year.

This plan does have a plus. If approved, electricity rates would decrease by about 2% to help offset the increases.