City won’t be raising water rates in 2021
By Neal A. Shipman
For the first time since 2012, water rates for Watford City residents and businesses will not be going up.
During the city council’s Dec. 7 meeting, the decision was made to hold the city’s water, sewer and garbage rates at their 2020 levels.
“The reason we recommended that we hold the rates the same was we had a large increase, 10 percent, increase in water rates last year,” states Justin Smith, Watford City superintendent of public works. “And as of last year, our water rates are finally paying for our expenses.”
According to Smith, between 2012 and 2019, the water fund had been subsidized from the city’s cash account by amounts varying from around just over $100,000 to nearly $500,000 per year.
“The current rates are expected to be adequate to prevent use of the cash reserve for operating expenses in 2021,” states Smith.
Smith says that Watford City’s water rates began increasing when the city started purchasing its water from the McKenzie County Water Resource Board, which purchased its water from the Western Area Water Supply Authority.