Infrastructure fee increase pays for maintenance needs
(Aug 29, 2013)
Westminster residents will see an increase in the monthly infrastructure fee on their utility bills beginning in 2014. The $1 per month ($12 per year) increase goes to pay for needed maintenance for streets, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and street lights.
There is a similar increase of $1 per month that will begin in 2015, which will bring the fee to $6 per month from its current $4 per month.
The infrastructure fee helps pay for ongoing maintenance to repair curbs, gutters and sidewalks that are deteriorating. Each dollar in the fee raises about $360,000 annually. This helps offset more than $1 million in annual spending to maintain curbs, gutters and sidewalks in our community.
Those efforts include improvements to bring older city sidewalks into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. In the past three years, the city has averaged more than $75,000 per year to build accessible ramps on sidewalks throughout the city.
The fee also helps with ongoing energy and maintenance costs for more than 8,000 street lights in the city. The city will spend more than $2 million this year on street light energy and maintenance. This cost has been increasing an average of 3.7 percent annually.
Revenue from the infrastructure fee also frees up more money to help the city pay for important major roadway paving projects, such as the recently completed resurfacing on 104th Avenue. Street maintenance spending alone exceeds an average of $4 million each year.