Luxury pricing for lawn watering? City of Bismarck defends water rate structure

Last fall, the Bismarck City Commission approved a rate structure that priced water at higher rates the more a user used. From the Bismarck Tribune article linked here, this is how it works:

A single-family household that uses 24 units of water per month, for example, would pay $1.42 per unit for the first 4 units, $2.87 per unit for the next 4 units, $5.29 per unit for the next 10 units and $6.68 per unit for the last 6 units, for a total monthly bill of $110.14.

— Cheryl McCormack, Bismarck Tribune

The rate structure was designed around two principles. First, the City had a revenue problem in that it wasn’t equal to what the service was costing. Second, the City had supply challenges — especially in summer when lawn watering dramatically increased demands on the system. Thus, the rate structure was designed to price lawn watering as a luxury use.

Here in Minot, it’s a topic worth paying attention to. This is a story I’ll have more on in the future, but to start with, Minot does things differently. Lawn watering prices — if a customer installs a separate meter — is subject to a lower rate than standard water because that water doesn’t hit the sanitary sewer system. Treating water on the back end is also contributes costs to our operation.

This article was sourced from:

Cheryl McCormack, Bismarck Tribune


Josh Wolsky

Developer & Writer @TheMinot Voice, Fan of the Souris River, SavorMinot Advocate. Fortunate to be a 'former' City Council member ;)

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