Water rates hiked

William Thompson

Marty Garcia, Assistant City Manager said Tucumcari city management recently decided to raise water rates for residential and commercial customers both within and outside city limits.

Average water bills for residential customers may be as much as $17 higher with next month’s bill. Garcia said city revenues have fallen short of expectations. “Raising the water rates is not something we like to do, but we have to be able to maintain our systems,” said Garcia. “The city has not been able to meet its revenue projections and the state mandates that we have qualified individuals running our systems. Those individuals have to be compensated financially for their certification.” Garcia attributed the decline in revenues to a declining population and less water consumption.

Florence Quintana, the city’s utility billing clerk said the average residential customer purchases about 5,000 gallons of water from the city each month. “The first 3,000 gallons of water that a customer purchases each month is going up to $12.60 from $11.60,” said Quintana. “After 3,000 gallons each 1,000 gallon will cost $2.44 per 1,000 gallon, up from $2.21 per gallon. The average resident takes in about 5,000 gallons per month. That average resident buying 5,000 gallons would pay about $17.48 per month.”

As for commercial customers within the city limits, rates will go up to $16 from $14 for the first 3,000 gallons and each 1,000 gallon after 3,000 gallons will cost $2.44 per 1,000 gallon up from $2.21 per gallon. Domie Missildine, co-owner of Dean’s Restaurant on East Tucumcari Boulevard, will be paying the commercial rate. “I was told by the city’s utility billing clerk that my rate would be about $24 higher per month,” said Missildine. “I don’t think that is too bad. It works out to a little over $300 extra per year. That’s within our means to afford to pay” For residents outside the city limits, their water bill will be going up to $18.90 for the first 3,000 gallons and $3.66 per every 1,000 gallon after 3,000. Commercial customers outside the city limits will be paying $24 for the first 3,000 gallons and $3.66 for each gallon over 3,000.
Linda Palacio, a nurse and residential customer, said that her water bill was already high.
“It hurts everybody’s pocketbook,” said Palacio. “People are not getting any more in pay, but they are expected to pay out more. If the city says revenues are too low, then the city needs to bring industries into the city so they can make the revenues higher.”