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Park City water department calling for 10% rate increase

One of Park City water department's capital projects involves stabilizing the Spiro tunnel.
Parker Malatesta
One of Park City water department's capital projects involves stabilizing the Spiro tunnel.

The Park City Council will discuss a proposed 10% water rate increase for the new fiscal year budget Thursday.

Under Utah law, Park City’s water service is defined as an enterprise fund, which means it has to pay for itself.

A staff report for Thursday’s Park City Council meeting says the water department needs $2 million in new revenue to maintain existing services and complete capital projects, which include the new $110 million Three Kings Water Treatment Plant.

Park City Manager Matt Dias says a 10% water rate increase for customers may be necessary to capture that revenue.

“Unfortunately, it’s a confluence of factors,” Dias said. “What’s occurred through inflation and construction supplies, equipment, and the difficulty obtaining the labor necessary to support the system. But we also have the Main Street project that’s coming online that was relatively unexpected.”

The Main Street project will be a multi-year effort to replace aging water lines in Old Town. The bulk of the work will be done during shoulder seasons.

“We understand that no one wants this water increase for next year,” Dias said. “We obviously have an obligation to responsibly administer the system and protect public health and safety in the drinking water, and so we’re coming in probably 60 to 90 days earlier than we normally would when talking about the rate structure. And one of the reasons we’re doing that is we’re trying to be very transparent, and allow the mayor and council adequate time to contemplate any alternatives or any adjustments or additional ways to generate revenue that they might want us to explore.”

Other revenue options could include increasing rates for the municipal golf course.

On Thursday the council will also discuss a proposed fee increase for law enforcement during special events.

An ordinance that would prohibit nightly rentals in the Bald Eagle Club in upper Deer Valley is up for vote. The ban was unanimously supported by the city planning commission.

The council could also approve contracts to purchase seven new electric buses and an “electric trolley specially manufactured for Main Street.”

Dias will end Thursday’s meeting with an update on bills in the Utah Legislature.

City Council chambers open to the public at 3:45 p.m. at the Marsac Building. The agenda and a link to attend virtually can be found here.