Changing churches’ sewer fees could be costly

Study could cost taxpayers $50K, and lost fee revenue could hurt city’s bonding agreements

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in conjunction with state laws, generally requires that municipalities like the City of Moab establish justifications for its taxation and fees for the sake of “equal protection under the law,” as the Constitution reads. As such, changing local churches’ billing structures will be no trivial feat and could cost the city a hefty consulting fee to accomplish, if officials choose to do so.

Churches looking for adjustments regarding sewer usage calculations

Landscaping water being charged at sewer rate

Many local churches’ sewer bills increased dramatically last year, most more than doubling, after the City of Moab changed the formula it uses to bill customers. Since then, leaders of Moab’s faith communities have been attempting to get city leaders to adjust the formula, since they say the price increase is not associated with any actual increase in their sewer usage.

Basin experiencing worst drought in 20 years, despite ’19 snowpack

Bureau announces plans for lakes Mead, Powell

The Bureau of Reclamation Aug. 15 released its Colorado River Basin August 2019 24-month study, which sets the annual operations for Lake Mead and Lake Powell in 2020. Based on projections in the 24-month study, Lake Mead will operate in the “normal” or “surplus” condition range in calendar year 2020. Lake Powell will operate in a range called “upper elevation balancing tier” in the 2020 water year, which is Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020.

How water ends up in Moab

It starts in the La Sals, but the middle steps are vital

A recently finalized study by the U.S. Geological Survey has corroborated state estimates for Moab’s water budget, the amount of consumable groundwater that passes through the valley each year. Melissa Masbruch, a USGS hydrologist and the lead author on the study, overturned many big assumptions from the previous groundwater study in 1971, led by USGS hydrologist C.T. Sumsion, including the path that groundwater travels as it makes its way from the La Sal Mountains into the underlying valley.