You know how you know a utility is going to raise your rates no matter what the public has to say about it? They hold a meeting at 8 a.m. on a Wednesday.

El Paso Water held a meeting this morning to discuss the new Stormwater Annual Budget. They invited the public to the meeting, but let's be honest, if they really wanted the public's input, they would have had the meeting at 7 p.m. Most people are either on the road to work or already at their desks at 8 a.m.

So what's the upshot of this meeting? Well, it's more than likely that our water bills will be going up because of an increase in the stormwater utility service. That is the fee that they tacked on to our bills after Storm 2006 that devastated the city with flooding.

The increases that are proposed will not be a flat fee, but rather, they will be based on square footage. A residence less than 1,200 square feet would see a four-cent increase. A residence 1,201 to 3,000 square feet would see an increase of 8 cents. Any residence larger than 3,000 square feet would see a 17-cent increase. Apartment complexes and industrial buildings would see an increase of 9 cents for every 2,000 square feet.

The money collected would go to the stormwater utility services and if approved will show up on your bill in March.

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