The service/infrastructure fee was established to generate additional revenue to fund capital improvements and continue to provide the appropriate level of maintenance to the district’s water delivery and wastewater collection systems.
As part of the annual budget process, the board of directors reviews various policy issues related to the overall operations of the district including cash reserve requirements. The district’s water distribution system continues to require significant attention as portions of the system approach the end of its reliable, useful life. It is extremely important that the district maintain a proactive maintenance program and comprehensive long-range capital improvement program to detect and repair all district owned infrastructure as necessary.
Within the district’s water distribution system is a vast amount of 60-year-old cast iron pipe, which frequently fails and results in unplanned outages, property damage, and emergency repair costs. The latest water main failure near 7960 S. Kendall Blvd. cost the district over $150,000. The failure was significant and resulted in extensive damage to the street and surrounding area (pictured left).
The broken segment of water pipe from S. Kendall Blvd. is shown below with a district operator for size reference.
The need for infrastructure replacement and funding is crucial to providing clean, reliable drinking water.
To meet the financial requirements of the scheduled pipe replacement projects over the next ten years while maintaining adequate cash reserves, and absorbing increased construction costs, the board of directors feels it is necessary to increase the monthly service fee. At the December board meeting, the board will be considering increasing the monthly service fee billed through Denver Water from $12 to $18 per 3/4″ meter. This would be effective as of January 1, 2024.
The service fee hearing will be held during the regular board meeting, which is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on December 15 at the district office at 8739 W. Coal Mine Avenue.
Without the increase in the service fee, the district may not be able to fund the required water main replacement projects that provide residents with public health protection and safety. The district also runs the risk of depleting its cash reserves and being unable to perform the proper level of maintenance required to deliver safe, reliable drinking water to our customers. The district’s board of directors are considering several other options in order to fully fund the planned water main replacement projects.