UPDATE: This article as of Oct. 1 reflects the increase to the city’s water tier rates as well as minimum monthly rate.
STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Granite Shoals residents will be paying a little more for their water beginning Oct. 1.
Granite Shoals City Council approved a rate increase of $3.50 to its minimum monthly water rate that covers the first 2,000 gallons used. The city also is tacking on $2 per 1,000 gallons for its tier rates of water used above the initial 2,000 gallons.
“Water sales weren’t covering the expenses,” Assistant City Manager Peggy Smith said. “Our sales are down due to rain. We’ll experience a loss in the water department.”
Recent sales are down because Mother Nature sent a wet September, resulting in 13 inches of rain. Therefore, residents aren’t watering their lawns, Smith said.
But the decrease goes back several years.
The study examined water usage dating to 2009. What city staff discovered is residents are using 20 percent less water than in previous years.
City staff have been monitoring water usage for some time, Smith added, but didn’t feel comfortable making a recommendation of any kind until after they completed their studies.
“Our studies verified where we were,” Smith said. “Last month, we were talking about entering into a drought. Since then, we’ve had thirteen inches of rain.”
The council also approved a new contract with the Hill Country Humane Society that will pay the facility $50,000 over the next 12 months. The old contract was for $21,000. Under the contract, the city animal control officer takes strays or found dogs and cats to the Buchanan Dam facility.
“They went up on everyone who’s using the shelter,” Smith said.
Shelter officials broke down the costs of what it takes to operate, she said, and presented that to city staff.
Smith noted that if the city of Granite Shoals operated its own shelter, it would cost $80,000 annually.
“We think it’s in the best interest to continue our association with them,” Smith said.