When the Windsor Town Board created its 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, water was at the top of the list of priorities. “Creating solid infrastructure for our future is key and one of the items I hoped to achieve in my term as mayor,” says Mayor of Windsor Kristie Melendez. The Town Board identified updating the water plan, revising the fee structure, researching alternative options for acquisition and treatment, and updating code as areas that would help them ensure Windsor residents are served well today and into the future.
At the Monday, January 28 Windsor Town Board meeting, the board voted in favor to increase water rates 6.21% starting March 1. The increase, which will be reflected in the April water bill, impacts residents who receive water from the Windsor Water Utility. Residents who live west of County Rd. 13 receive their water from the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District and resident who live north of County Rd. 74 receive their water from North Weld Water.
The Town Board regularly reviews Windsor’s water rates with town staff to ensure that it can pay for the supply and services used by ratepayers. While the town tries to keep annual rate increases modest, the variables that go into providing the cost of water services continues to increase. This particular increase takes into account Windsor’s participation in the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP).
Currently, Windsor’s Water Utility receives its water from two water sources: The Colorado-Big Thompson Project and the North Poudre Irrigation Company. Windsor is one of 15 northern Colorado Front Range water providers involved in NISP. The project consists of constructing two main raw water storage reservoirs: Glade and Galeton.
“Windsor’s Town Board fully supports a “growth pays for growth” model to help cover the cost of water,” says Windsor Mayor Kristie Melendez. “Existing ratepayers are only paying twelve percent of the project.”
When a new home is built in Windsor, the town collects a Water Resource Fee which will cover eighty-eight percent of the cost of the raw water project. That means, the Town Board has new development offsetting the majority of the project’s costs. The cost for Windsor to participate in the NISP project will cost over $100 million.
“It’s a balancing act,” says Water Resource Manager John Thornhill. “While we passed a significant portion of the cost to new development, If we passed too much of the cost to new development, it would stall growth and rates would significantly increase for existing residents.”
There’s more information about Windsor’s water history, how it currently gets its water, and how it plans to protect Windsor’s future water interests in the 2018 Water Report found on windsorgov.com/water.