CHRIS DUQUE — New utility rates in place for City of Nederland; quality of life events near

Published 12:26 am Sunday, October 8, 2023

The City of Nederland operates on an Oct. 1st through Sept. 30 fiscal year. Thus, Oct. 1, 2023, was the start of a new year for the City.

Effective Oct. 1, 2023, the City’s new utility rates, which were approved by the City Council at their Sept. 11 meeting, are effective. The utility rate adjustments include:

  • Adjusting the water base rate by $0.50 ($11.00 to $11.50);
  • Adjusting the sewer base rate by $0.50 ($11.40 to $11.90);
  • Adjusting the residential, commercial and commercial w/no trash solid waste rates by $0.50 ($21.25 to $21.75, $21.25 to $21.75 and $14.25 to $14.75);
  • The adjustment amounts are applied to outside city limit customers’ rates.

The rate adjustments were necessary to keep up with growing operational costs. The Water & Sewer and Solid Waste funds are enterprise funds; these services are paid via utility bills and are not tax-supported; as enterprise funds, revenue must cover expenditures.

Nederland City Manager Chris Duque

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The Water & Sewer Fund expenditures of the adopted fiscal year 2023-2024 budget increased by $330,805 from the adopted FY 22-23 budget, and the Solid Waste Fund expenditures of the adopted fiscal year 2023-2024 budget increased by $86,334 from the adopted FY 22-23 budget.

Much of the increases are contractual, such as credit card fees, raw water rates, windstorm insurance and reflect the impacts of inflation, such as chemical costs and fuel.

Customers who have a base bill (2,000 gallons/month) would see an increase of $1.50/month; customers who utilize 5,000 gallons a month would see an increase of $1.50/month; customers who utilize 10,000 gallons a month would see an increase of $1.50/month; customers who utilize 50,000 gallons a month would see an increase of $1.50/month; and customers who utilize 100,000 gallons a month would see an increase of $1.50/month.

It is also important to note that effective October 1st the City is no longer selling garbage bags.

Fall and Winter Events: the NEDC’s FALL CONCERT series Oct. 12 and 19 in front of the NEDC office (across from the Windmill), MONSTERS IN THE PARK on Oct. 20 near Tex Ritter Park (event will be scaled down this year due to the relocation), the Nederland Chamber of Commerce’s TRUNK-R-TREAT on Oct. 31 on Boston Avenue, CHRISTMAS ON THE AVENUE on Dec. 2 on Boston Avenue, and the Nederland Chamber of Commerce’s LIGHTED CHRISTMAS PARADE on Dec. 5.

The City is finalizing plans for a Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Park. Please contact the City Manager’s Office with information on your church’s, organizations, etc. Halloween/Fall community event to promote on the electronic sign by the police station and to share on social media.

The City is happy to announce Toby Latiolais is the new Parks & Recreation Director and Christopher Leavins is the new City Attorney.

Doornbos Park improvements are on-going or scheduled. Final work is being completed on the inclusive playground (near the tennis courts); installation of a fence around the playground perimeter and installation of signage is scheduled for the next several weeks.

Please do not try to use the play features until construction is complete. The City Council awarded bid for the Doornbos Park Pond Improvements project; this will result in significant improvements to the pond. The noticeable changes will be the edge of the pond and the removal of the island; a new sidewalk will be poured to facilitate walking around the pond.

Construction is scheduled to start in the next several weeks and be completed by March. Funds are allocated to resurface and repair the tennis courts; the re-surfacing plans include making some of the tennis courts striped for pickleball.

In addition to the re-surfacing, it is necessary to repair the tennis court lights. Funds have been allocated to replace the large pavilion by the new playground.

One of the most common requests of all levels of government is greater transparency and sharing more information. In that spirit, town hall meetings (online and in-person) were held after hours starting in 2021; topics discussed were taxes, infrastructure projects, etc.; unfortunately, attendance and participation was minimal.

Rather than stop trying to engage our citizens, we went back to the drawing board. In January, the City plans to launch a “City of Nederland 101” or citizens academy.

20-25 Nederland residents or property owners would attend a six-session program that covers topics including the City government, finances, public safety, quality of life, infrastructure, zoning/development, etc.

Staff is finalizing the curriculum and program. At this time, we plan to have applications for enrollment to be available in November.

If there are any questions regarding City operations, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 409-723-1503.

Chris Duque is city manager for Nederland. He can be reached at CDuque@ci.nederland.tx.us.