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Casper City Council endorses utility billing and water meter fee changes

"All we’re trying to do is cost recovery," Public Services Director Andrew Beamer said.


CASPER, Wyo. — For more than 30 years, the City of Casper has not changed the amounts it charges for utility billing and water metering services such as late payment fees, utility deposits and returned bank checks.

When the Casper City Council met for a budget work session on Wednesday, May 24, councilors agreed it is time to adopt an updated schedule for customer service fees intended to recover expenses the city incurs through utility billing and water metering activities.

“All we’re trying to do is cost recovery,” Public Services Director Andrew Beamer said. “What it actually costs us to provide these services.”

The city sets fees and charges for water service by municipal code. Its current rules and fee schedule were set in 1991 by a now-dissolved Board of Public Utilities and have not been updated since, according to a city staff memo.

Beamer said the updated fee schedule would result in an estimated $230,000 more in annual revenue.

Newly proposed fees include $20 and $35 delinquent late fees after 31 and 45 days, a $35 water turn-on fee that does not include new accounts or transfers, and a $145 frozen meter charge. Among the highest fees is $200 for a refundable utility deposit, which is reduced to $100 for auto-pay accounts.  

The table below summarizes the services, related municipal code reference, current fees and proposed fees:

“The direct cost recovery received from these activities minimizes needed rate increases by roughly 1.5%,” the staff memo states.

Councilor Amber Pollock said she preferred charging people for particular situations rather than charging all customers across the board.

“To me it makes more sense to adjust the fees so the folks who are dealing with these particular circumstances are the ones who pay,” she said.

If the council votes to pass the proposed resolution at a regular meeting, the revised schedule will go into effect July 1. It is not retroactive.

The city staff request memo for amended utility billing and water metering fees is below: