District News Articles

  2. After the City of Littleton imposed a one sided 20 percent sewer service charge increase on outside-City customers and no increase on Littleton customers in 2008, a number of water and sanitation districts joined together to form the Littleton Sewer Rate Coalition (Coalition).  The purpose of the Coalition is to promote fair and equitable sewer rates and tap fees for member customers.
    The Coalition initially sought to amend each member’s sewer connection agreement with the City of Littleton to require that sewer rates be established using a wastewater utility cost of service approach.  After Littleton refused to consider revisions to the agreements, the Coalition sought to open a dialogue with the City using a state agency as mediator.  This effort failed as a result of the agency’s inability to devote adequate resources to facilitate meaningful discussions.
    Seeing limited opportunities to address the Coalition’s concerns, the group agreed to pursue legislation to impose an obligation on wastewater treatment utilities to assess rates in a fair and equitable manner.  A bill was introduced by Representative Jim Kerr and Senator Mike Kopp to amend current law to require rates, tolls, charges and fees adopted by a city or town located in an urban area and serving more than 50 percent of its users outside its borders, be not only “just, reasonable and necessary, “but be based upon a demonstrated actual cost of service.  The problem as explained by Rep. Kerr is that 68 percent of treatment plant customers reside outside City limits and have no say in how rates are set.  Outside-City users have no representation in the rate setting process.
    A meeting involving legislators along with city representatives occurred prior to the first hearing of Rep. Kerr’s and Senator Kopp’s bill before the House Local Government Committee.  The meeting resulted in an agreement of the parties to search for a resolution of their dispute outside of the legislative process.  In response, Rep. Kerr agreed to postpone consideration of the proposed bill to enable the parties to continue to reach an accommodation.  As of this date, City and Coalition representatives are continuing discussions in the hope that a resolution can be reached before the 2010 legislative session.
    Littleton Sewer Rate Coalition
    The Littleton Sewer Rate Coalition is comprised of the following local governments:
    Platte Canyon Water and Sanitation District
    Southwest Metropolitan Water and Sanitation District
    Ken-Caryl Ranch Water and Sanitation District
    Grant Water and Sanitation District
    Roxborough Water and Sanitation District
    Meadowbrook-Fairview Metropolitan District
    Coalition members provide sewer collection and transmission services for 68 percent of the customers served by Littleton’s portion of the Littleton-Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant.