May 30—Longmont City Council on Tuesday is to get a briefing about how the city staff studies the city's utility rates and determines the estimated customer charges expected to be needed to cover future years' projected operating costs and related expenses.
This year, staff is studying electric and storm drainage rates, and staff's presentation is to include a look at those city utilities' expenses. Also being studied are storm drainage and electric fees Longmont charges developers.
Tuesday night's City Council study session review of utility rate issues is the latest in a series of discussions it is expected to hold prior to possible consideration of electric and storm drainage rate increases this fall.
Council's most recent update of the city's electric utility rates took effect in January 2020. Current storm drainage rates are based on an ordinance Council adopted in November 2013.
According to the city staff's memo to Council for Tuesday's meeting, the city's electric utility has a $74.97 million operating budget this year. Longmont's storm drainage utility's 2021 budget is $4.48 million.
Staff reported to Council in an earlier presentation, in April, that a "typical" residential utility bill will charge the customer an average $70.23 a month for electric use in 2021.Residential city utility customers are charged a $13.05 monthly user fee.
"Longmont is proud to provide high quality, low cost utility services, including the second lowest residential electric rates out of 44 Colorado electric utilities that responded to the January 2021 Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities rate survey," staff wrote in its memo to Council for Tuesday's meeting.
Staff said that under Longmont's utility rate philosophy, Longmont Power and Communications and the city's Public Works and Natural Resources Department endeavor to establish rates that:
— Collect sufficient revenue to operate and maintain the utilities.
— Recover the cost of service from each rate class.
— Are affordable.
— Are easily understood by the general public.
— Fund and encourage conservation efforts by utility customers.
— Smooth increases over time to the extent feasible.
— Achieve Council and community goals.
If you watch
What: Longmont City Council study session
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Council and city staff members will participate from remote locations. Residents can watch the meeting by clicking "play" on the video link within the interactive agenda window. The mayor will announce when people can call in to comment during the portion of the meeting when the public is invited to be heard.
Longmont residential electric rates: tinyurl.com/48mszbvb
Longmont water, storm drainage and wastewater rates and fees: tinyurl.com/7p975raf