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City of Newcastle Approves Changes to Water and Wastewater Rates

City of Newcastle Approves Changes to Water and Wastewater Rates

Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2023

NEWCASTLE, OKLAHOMA (August 16, 2023) – The Newcastle City Council/Newcastle Public Works Authority has approved changes to the water and wastewater rates during their regular meeting on August 14. These changes come after a detailed study conducted with the help of NewGen Strategies and Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm with expertise in utility services.

The changes are part of the City's ongoing efforts to ensure that residents continue to receive reliable and high-quality water and wastewater services.

"The new rates will assist the City in maintaining infrastructure, funding water and wastewater system operations, and provide utility services stability," explained Kevin Self, Newcastle City Manager.

The study highlighted the importance of investing in the City's water and wastewater infrastructure. The City’s Capital Improvement Plan, which includes projects for both growth and maintenance, is a key part of this investment. The plan will help ensure that the City's water and wastewater systems continue to perform reliably and, can handle the needs of all residents.

To help pay for these projects, the City Council will consider revising impact fees for water and wastewater services at an upcoming special meeting in August. These fees, which are typically charged to new developments, will provide funding for infrastructure upgrades and expansion of the water and sewer systems.

The new rates will also help cover the everyday costs of providing water and wastewater services. These costs include things like treating water and wastewater, maintaining pipes and other equipment, and handling administrative tasks. The new rates are designed to make sure the utility can keep providing high-quality services to everyone in the City.

The study also looked at utility funding needs including inflation and growth over the next five years, to ensure operational and maintenance costs are accounted for.  The new rates are set to make sure the utility will have the funding needed.

One piece of good news is the majority of water customers will not see their water rates go up right away. Under the new rates, 89% of water customers – those with 5/8" meters using less than 5,000 gallons/month – will not see any increase in their water rates for at least five years.

"NewGen Strategies and Solutions, LLC, brought a lot of knowledge and experience to this study," added Self. "Their insights and recommendations were helpful to the Council in making this difficult, but important decision."