During their February 24 regular meeting, members of the City of Truth or Consequences’ Public Utility Advisory Board approved a recommendation regarding a water rate increase that was put forth in a proposed ordinance (No. 712) approved for publication by the city commission last month. 

Over the past several weeks, a series of public town hall meetings has focused on discussion of this ordinance, and resulted in several additional rate increase options for the advisory board to consider. 

After receiving a review of the proposed ordinance and options by Rural Communities Assistance Corporation (RCAC) representative Karl Pennock, board members briefly discussed the options provided and ultimately supported chairman Jeff Dornbusch’s motion to formally recommend Scenario B-Alternate No. 1 for city leaders to consider. 

In the proposed alternative, water customers would see a base rate increase to $15.50 per month and adjusted rates for usage above 6,000-gallons per month, as well as annual increases beginning in Fiscal Year 2022, based upon the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.

With the PUAB’s recommendation, the measure will now be forwarded to city commissioners for final consideration during their February 26 regular session. 

•The evening’s advisory board meeting further included a directive from chairman Dornbusch, asking the city’s administrative staff to adopt a water meter replacement program. He noted how a dedicated replacement effort held the potential of both lessening annual water loss and increasing municipal revenue through better accuracy alone. City manager Morris Madrid said he would examine the option and if supported by city commissioners, indicated such an initiative could likely be included in the city’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget if so desired. 

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