Alamosa County Commissioners hike wastewater fees in Mosca

ALAMOSA COUNTY — Higher rates are in store for customers of the Mosca Wastewater System. At the Alamosa County Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 8, commissioners voted to raise rates for users of the system to cover operating costs.

Alamosa County Land Use and Building Director Richard Hubler, gave the commissioners an overview of the financial situation stating, "Our expenses, were far outpacing our revenues, and at the board's direction, we did an analysis and review and discovery related to adjusting rates at the Mosca Wastewater System. I want to be clear, we are not trying to get to 100% match this year." The rate increase is intended to cover part of the operating costs of the system.

Since the system opened in 2018, revenue generated has fallen far short of operating costs at the county-owned facility. The system has operated at a loss for several years; in the fiscal year 2022, the loss was about $55,000 and is projected to operate at a loss of $46,000 in fiscal year 2024.

Currently, the 46 residential users pay $40 a month to use the system. That will increase to $50 a month in 2024 and increase incrementally to $80 a month by 2030 under the rate structure approved by commissioners. The 24 commercial connections will also experience increased rates.

The annual revenue generated by user fees is currently $30,245 and will increase to $66,480 and will cover 83.38% of operating costs by 2030.

"It's not that the costs are going up, it's that we are finally remedying the situation," said Commissioner Vern Heersink.

In other commissioner meeting news, Controller Mari Cruz Mora presented a "recommended budget that should not be viewed as a final budget document, but rather as a decision-making tool to facilitate financial discussion, and to promote understanding."

Alamosa County Administrator Roni Wisdom said of the proposed budget, "Because proposition HH did not pass, this is the budget we're going to work with, although there may be a special [legislative] session...and this is the budget we will have the approval [by the county commissioners] of on Dec. 6.