Town councilors last week voted in favor of increasing water rates and stormwater utility fees.
Town staff said the water rates would increase by 2.83 percent and stormwater fees would go up by 7 percent “to reflect industry-wide costs” and to make sure there is money for improvement projects. A resident’s monthly water bill is expected to increase by $1.05, and the stormwater fee is anticipated to rise by 35 cents to $5.33.
For every 10,000 gallons used, the monthly water rate for a Jupiter resident will be $37.19. It’s less than some surrounding municipalities, like $43.94 in Wellington and $47.48 in Tequesta. The lowest rate in Palm Beach County is $24.47 in Delray Beach.
Of the regional municipalities that use the process of reverse osmosis, Jupiter’s monthly rate is the lowest. St. Lucie County’s is the most expensive at $71.30 per 10,000 gallons used per month.
Since 2015, water rates have increased between 3.3 percent and 3.8 percent each year. In that same time, stormwater fees increased by 2.1 percent each year, after a six-year period of stagnant rates, until rates went up by 7 percent.
Councilman Jim Kuretski was the sole vote against the increases.
“I’d like to see our utilities at least some years work on efficiencies,” he said.
The increases will take effect Oct. 1.
The council also heard a presentation about the need for more parking to accommodate visitors to Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. The town’s staff recommended the council take a “wait and see” approach, as developments that would have added to the stadium parking inventory have yet to take shape.