Residents in the City of Langdon should be prepared for the upcoming increase in water rates that will take effect on the first of March.
By Melissa Anderson
The amount of the increase is $20, which is within the range that was proposed during the initial stages of the planning process for the water project. With the increase, water rates for the city will rise from its current level of $27 to $47.
At the most recent Langdon City Commission meetings, discussion on when the city should implement the increase was a sticking point, but it was decided that sooner was better than later.
“The project work has already started,” Langdon City Auditor RoxAnne Hoffarth explained, “and the rate increase will be needed to repay the city’s share of the project. The first year’s debt service loan payment will be due in 2018, and we need to get a head start on collecting for that.”
Residents and the city benefit from the enacting of the increase so soon. The terms of the loan that has been granted by USDA Rural Development requires the city to have enough funds for one year’s debt service payment plus a 10 percent reserve amount.
“By starting to collect now, it will give a head start on these costs,” Hoffarth said.
The funds generated by the increase will be used for purchasing the new water from Northeast Rural Water District (NRWD) and paying for the city’s share of construction of the new pipeline, pump structures, and the buy-in to connect into Devils Lake Water Treatment.
The City of Langdon was required to secure funding for the project during the construction of these projects because of specifications of the Rural Development loan.
“Rural Development requires the city to have interim financing for the loan amounts that is used to pay all bills during construction,” Hoffarth explained, “Once construction is close to being completed, the city will finalize loan dollars with Rural Development.”
Once finalized, the city receives the loan from Rural Development to pay off the interim financing and then simply pays Rural Development.
The City of Langdon is slated to have delivery of Devils Lake water to its residents through NRWD by the end of 2017.