Today Colorado Springs City Council unanimously approved our 2019 Budget and 2019 customer rates.
Last summer, I was priviliged to work with a team of employees to review the 2019 budget submittal and am proud to share that the 2019 budget is nearly $42 million less than our 2018 budget. Fuel costs are projected to be lower next year, but our employees deserve credit for scrubbing the budget and reprioritizing planned projects in service to you. We're serious about providing you quality services at a reasonable price.
While the overall budget is the lowest in recent history, water and wastewater budgets are $6.7 million and $1.4 million higher, respectively, to support the ability to provide safe, reliable, quality services.
Like many utilities across the nation, local water and wastewater systems are old and in need of ongoing repair and refurbishment. This is a nationwide challenge. American Water Works Association estimates more than $1 trillion is necessary over the next 25 years to upgrade U.S. water systems.
For the typical residential wastewater customer, the increase will be $0.88 per month. With no changes to wastewater rates since 2010, much of the increase is due to inflationary costs.
Typical residential water customers will experience a monthly increase of $3.80. This funding supports a significant upgrade to the Phillip H. Tollefson Water Treatment Plant built in 1942 and ongoing work to repair and replace water mains throughout the city.
Most commercial and industrial (C&I) customers will also experience increases to base rates for wastewater and water services.
Understanding the complexities of utilities rates can be overwhelming. As a not-for-profit, community-owned utility, it's important to us that you understand what's included in your bill and what it pays for -- afterall, we set rates to cover the cost of providing you with safe, reliable services. Check out these online tools to increase your understanding: