File Photo
Philo Shelton
Department to propose rate hikes

Los Alamos County’s Department of Public Utilities is preparing to lay out its case for a series of rate hikes Wednesday at the County Municipal Building. 

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

The department is looking to schedule a series of annual rate hikes over a three-year period for water and sewage.

For water, the department is proposing 5%, 4.25%, 4% increases, respectively. For sewer, the department is proposing 6%, 3% and 2%, respectively. 

According to Department of Utilities Manager Philo Shelton III, the hikes are already part of a department strategy that was implemented three years ago to help deal with aging infrastructure and to build up its cash reserves to be able to borrow funding for projects. The department is also working on replacing the White Rock Wastewater Treatment plant, which is more than 40 years old.  

The department is in the design phase for the new plant, and according to Shelton, construction on the new plant should take place within a year to a year and a half.  The facility has an estimated $14 to $17 million price tag.