Casper City Council at The Lyric (Stew Dyer / Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — On Tuesday, Sept. 19, the Casper City Council authorized a Professional Services Agreement with Raftelis Financial Consultants Inc. The $52,615 agreement aims to facilitate a Water and Sewer Utility Rate Study for the Casper Public Utilities Division.

The city’s Public Services Department, under the Public Utilities Division, generally sets water and sewer rates biennially. With rates for 2024 and 2025 to be considered this fall, city staff recommended hiring Raftelis Financial Consultants, according to a memo prepared for the City Council.

The study’s objective is to guide the rate-setting process in the upcoming years.

Key components of the study include identifying customer classes and determining the cost to serve each class. The end goal is to set rates that recover costs from the right customer classes fairly.

The study will assess the feasibility of a “tiered” or “increasing block” water rate system. This structure aims to reduce water waste and promote financial equity.

“Increasing block rates is a rate structure in which the unit price of each succeeding block of usage is charged at a higher unit rate than the previous block(s). Increasing block rates are designed to promote conservation and are most often found in urban areas and areas with limited water supplies,” The United States Environmental Protection Agency website states.

The study aligns with the City Council’s sustainability goal for 2023–25. The budgeted funds, amounting to $52,615, are secured in the FY24 Water and Sewer fund.

The memo to the City Council can be found below.