The Water Committee of the Glasgow City Council has determined that water rates are not sufficient to meet costs and fund the reserve account for expensive equipment replacements that will soon be needed. The last increase in water rates was in 1999.
John Weikel of Montana Rural Water has advised the committee that without a raise, the city will not qualify for future grants for improvements. To be in line with other cities and meet funding needs, the city should increase the base rate by $10. This could be done in two stages. The current base rate is $15.
The City Council will consider this rate increase at the next meeting on July 15 and a public meeting will be scheduled to explain it in detail.
Also on the agenda for the next Council meeting is Dry Prairie’s request to buy water from Glasgow for a fixed period of time to supply 42 households on the perimeter of town until Dry Prairie’s system can reach them. Dry Prairie would pay a wholesale rate that would more than cover the cost of producing the water. They would pay for the interconnect of the water systems and it would remain in place afterward as a fallback if Glasgow ever needed water from them.
Profits from selling this water would fund improvement projects.
Council members say some people will assume the base water rate is being increased to give water to Dry Prairie, but this is not the case.
“There is no connection between the base increase and selling to Dry Prairie,” said Councilman Becky Erickson.
“The rates have to go up anyway,” said Weikel. “The Montana Code is specific – a water system must be sustainable.”