With the new growth Mission continues to experience, city leaders said it was necessary to adjust the rates of some city services and utilities to make up for the additional maintenance. At the Oct. 24 Mission City Council meeting, the mayor and council unanimously voted to increase the water, sewer, drainage and brush rates.
The new rates, effective Jan. 1, 2023, are as follows:
- Water rates
- Residential – 10% increase ($10.50 to $11.50)
- Commercial – 19% increase ($10.50 to $12.50)
- Sewer rates
- Residential – 3% increase ($8.75 to $9.50)
- Commercial – 32% increase ($8.75 to $11.50)
- Drainage rates
- Residential – 20% increase ($2.50 to $3.00)
- Commercial – 50% increase ($4.00 to $6.00)
- Brush rates
- Residential 47% increase ($2.72 to $4.00)
- Commercial 47% increase ($2.72 to $4.00)
Mission has not increased these rates since 2018, and city leaders project $2.5 million in revenue for just water and sewer alone, which affects the utility fund.
“We budget for the year on these funds for the operations. We’re looking at the additional revenue for the upkeep or the maintenance on it. For example, this year we are proposing an improvement of $2 million in both water plants for the excavation of our detention areas for our water reservoirs. That is $2 million that needed to be implemented,” City Manager Randy Perez said. “Also we’re looking at the expansion of the water plant because of our capacity and our growth. And then also on the drainage…we did purchase some property for drainage detention areas so that’s also continuing to improve our drainage system. So all that additional [money] will be for the upkeep of our infrastructure.”
According to data from the city manager’s office, 37% of the residential customer base uses 5,000 to 9,000 gallons of water a month, and another 30% uses up to 4,000 gallons a month. The other 33% use between 10,000 and 60,000-plus gallons of water. Apartment complexes use more gallons because there is usually one water meter for several units.
For commercial impact, 53% use up to 4,000 gallons of water per month, while 16% use between 5,000 and 9,000 gallons per month. The remaining 31% use 10,000 to 200,000-plus gallons of water a month. The types of businesses with the highest water consumption are car washes, retail stores and medical industrial spaces.
The increases will affect commercial businesses more than residents. However, larger-family homes might see the impact more than smaller households. Residents will only see smaller bills if their usage is less than usual. A representative from the city manager’s office said they plan to distribute reading material on how to reduce water consumption.
“We have seen the growth in our city. So our services increase, our expenditures increase, our maintenance increases and, of course, the cost of materials increase and so forth,” the city manager said. “And so, to keep up with that demand, those adjustments are needed.”
Mission has several utility-related construction projects in the works that allow for more development throughout the city.
The Conway lift station between U.S. 83 and Military Road was a project that began in June 2020 and reached completion earlier this year. The cost of the project was $2,586,683.91.
“We have seen interest in development on Conway south of the expressway, and services are now being offered and provided. So we expect to see development in the area,” City Manager Randy Perez said.
Mission is also installing a sewer along North Conway, which is about 80 percent complete. The project connects sewer services on Conway from Mile 2 to Mile 3. The start date was Feb. 22, with 220 contracted work days and a total cost of $667,110.
“We are seeing development already north of 2 Mile Line. We do have some restaurants coming in as well in that area so we’re bridging the gap of sewer service,” the city manager said.
The Bentsen Palm sanitary sewer project is another utility project in progress. The work site is in the area of the Bentsen development south of Expressway 83. The project began July 15 and is about 20 percent into phase three with 120 contracted work days. Total cost is $1,853,205. Perez said the city is already seeing growth in the southwest area too.
Finally, the Basham fire protection project north of Mile 2 is also about 80 percent complete. The city is installing hydrants and constructing a two-acre detention pond to outfall drainage. The total project cost is $1,444,444.
With the expansion of Mission as a whole, Perez said the additions provide more possibilities for the city.
“We’re excited as we move forward,” he said. “Because it’s an opportunity for our city to grow, not only in valuation, but also to create jobs and have the workforce here, and to have more families move into the city of Mission in these new developments.”