Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO – At the San Angelo City Council’s previous Tuesday meeting, a second reading and public hearing and adoption of an ordinance--Utility Related Fees, “water, sewer and trash deposits”, by amending the deposits, presentation was made by Water Utilities Assistant Director, Allison Strube.

Strube went over the current deposits that were charged at the initial outset of her presentation.

The bulk of the Water Department’s customers, both residential and commercial are in this 5/8 “category which Strube primarily focused for her presentation but also clarified that all the deposits would be amended. 

Meter size  Residential  Commercial

5/8”          $35            $75

The deposits are a guarantee for the utility; thus the utility provides services for the customer prior to their being issued a bill. The deposit is a guarantee, so if a customer walks, that bill the City does receive some of their funds back, stated, Strube.

Strube briefly covered in her slide presentation what exactly the deposits were:

• A guarantee for the utility

• Are returned after 4 years or when the account is closed, whichever comes first

• The utility uses deposits only to cover outstanding balances on closed accounts

“The increased deposits are not going to effect the current amount in collections.” “What we are trying to do is minimize the amount going to our collection agency from here on out,” Allison said.

The slide that Strube showed the City Council is an average that is just shy of half a million dollars ($469, 654) and approximately 1500 (1,521) accounts to collection, each year. 

“The increased deposits will not affect these old collection accounts, but hope to decrease those in the future,” said Strube. 

The bill affects new customers only and this ordinance change will go into effect January 1; this will not affect our current 35,000 customers,’ said Strube who wanted to make sure that was crystal clear. Also, they do not create revenue for the City. 

“Deposits are put into account, separated from revenue and are used for when the four-year mark comes for that customer or when the customer closes that account and then it is applied to the bill,” she said. An average of 5900 customers close their account each year.

Strube stated that what was being proposed was the same numbers as previously last time, regarding in the 5/8” category for residential customers, going from currently $35 deposit to a proposed $100 deposit. 

Strube further commented that the Water Utilities Department was trying to recoup an average of one month’s bill for the deposit.

As for commercial customers, Strube’s slide showed for a meter size of 3” the current deposit was $525 and what was being proposed was $830.

Strube concluded the presentation, stating that City staff and the Water Advisory Board recommended the following:

• Increase the deposit fee to match value of one month average bill

• First reading unanimously approved on November 7

The City Council unanimously approved 7-0 the proposed deposit changes. 

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