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Utilities increase beginning in 2022

Posted at 9:05 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 23:16:26-04

The City of Corpus Christi is getting ready to approve a new city budget.

The good news? Corpus Christi residents will have no utility-fee increases and no city property tax-rate increases in 2021.

But that changes starting in 2022: That's when you'll start paying a few dollars more on your monthly utility bill.

Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni blames the fees on decades-old wastewater pipes.

"Sometimes you have pipes that are 90, 90-plus years old that are still in service," he said.

As we've previously reported, the City of Corpus Christi has agreed to spend $725 million dollars in upgrading the way the city handles wastewater as part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Even without the agreement, Zanoni said the city's aging pipes and six wastewater treatment plants would need upgrades and maintenance.

"It's expensive, and sometimes cities can defer maintenance when revenues don't come in or there is a downturn in the economy," he said.

So as of right now, here's what it means for you and me every time we get a utility bill starting in 2022:

  • Starting in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 expect to pay an extra $3 a month.
  • In 2024 and 2025, you'll pay $7 a month.
  • In 2026 and 2027 you'll pay $9.00 per bill.
  • And then you'll pay $11 per utility bill in fiscal years 2028 and 2029

This is based on a typical household, which is estimated to use 5,000 gallons of water.

If you use less, you pay less. If you use more, you'll pay a bit more.

"The result is a significantly upgraded wastewater treatment system, including pipes underground, lift stations and six sewer-treatment plants in Corpus Christi," Zanoni said.

These estimates will continue to be reviewed, and a final proposal will be provided to city council next summer.