For the third time in four years, the City of Hillsboro is looking at raising water rates for customers in the city, as well as Cornelius, Gaston and Laurelwood.
The city's utilities commission plans to consider the matter in October, but Hillsboro officials are hoping for feedback from the community about the changes by the end of this month.
If approved, the water rate increases would go into effect next year.
The proposed increases would raise the rate for single-family homes by 4.9%, nearly the same increase the city imposed last year, when it raised water rates for single-family customers by 5%. According to the city, a typical resident living in a single-family home uses about 6,000 gallons of water per month. Their water bill would increase by $1.68, from $34.34 to $36.02.
Customers are charged based on how much water they use, as well as the frequency they use. Actual percentages are expected to very by customer, the city said, based on water use and meter size.
The water rate for apartments and other multi-family residences could go up to nearly 8%. Businesses would see an increase of about 13%, and industrial use would go up 10.5%.
Hillsboro also sells water to a handful of local cities and water districts. Those communities purchase their water wholesale from the city, according to Lindsay Wochnick, a spokeswoman for the Hillsboro Water Department.
Cornelius residents would see their rates increase by 9.3%, while residents in Gaston and the LA Water Co-Op in Laurelwood, south of Hillsboro, would have their rates go up less than 3%.
The rate increase must be approved by the city's three-member Utilities Commission, which will host a public hearing on the water rate increases at 6 p.m., Oct. 7 at the Hillsboro Civic Center, 150 E. Main St.
The rate increases are part of a years-long plan to build the Willamette Water Supply Program, which would provide water to Hillsboro and neighboring Tualatin Valley Water District. The city currently draws water from the Tualatin River, but city officials have said that water source won't be able to supply enough for the region's fast-growing population.
The Willamette Water Supply Program is expected to be completed in 2026.
That project is currently under construction and won't wrap up until 2026.
More information is available on the City of Hillsboro's website.
By Geoff Pursinger
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