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Utility Rate Study
On Tuesday, June 14 the City Council approved a rate increase for the Pressurized Irrigation and Storm Drain systems beginning for the July 2016 bill. Please see below for rates and more information. If you still have questions, we would be happy to discuss them with you. Just call us at 801-756-5751.

Over the past year, Highland City has made an effort to better understand the true cost of utility services and make sure that we have proper maintenance plans for our culinary water, pressurized irrigation, sewer, and storm drain systems. As a part of this process, City Council and staff worked together to create master plans and maintenance plans and update our impact fees.

Highland’s master and maintenance plans call for the maintenance and upgrading of our systems at prescribed times to ensure that we keep services running smooth for all current and future Highland Residents. Current utility rates for culinary water and sewer are at an appropriate level. However, the pressurized irrigation and storm drain rates did not provide enough revenue for the City to carry out the needed maintenance and capital improvements. This could have meant problems in the future including poor service or even a full disruption of service.

In original analyses, it looked like utility bills would need to be raised around $25 per month. The City felt that this was not in the best interest of residents. Council and staff worked together to come up with alternative funding for some projects and readjust the timeline of other projects to decrease the new rates.

The new rates mean an increase for both pressurized irrigation and storm drain rates. Culinary water and sewer rates will remain unchanged. The table below shows what the rate increases will mean for you.

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The storm drain rate is changing is from $5.73 to $6.97 or a $1.24 difference regardless of lot size.

The PI rate is made up of a base rate and square footage rate. The base rate is going from $12.42 to $20.12 or a $7.70 difference regardless of lot size. The square footage rate is going from $0.00041 per square foot to $0.000664 per square foot.

If you would like to know your exact bill change, please use the information above or call us.

In 2023, the bond to put in the pressurized irrigation system will be paid off. At that time, the rate for pressurized irrigation will be able to be lowered in conjunction with that payoff.

In comparison to other communities, Highland has a relatively low utility bill. Even with this increase, your utility bill will still be lower than American Fork, Cedar Hills, Lindon, and Pleasant Grove.

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While the City could have bonded for some of this needed increase, City Council has elected not to do so to keep the City from taking on more debt. While this means a larger utility bill for you in the short-run, it means the City will save money in interest costs and have one less bond to make payments on.

Some portions of some capital projects are impact fee related and as such impact fees will be used on those projects. However, because impact fees are collected over time and not all at once, impact fees can only really be used to reimburse the City for the project, not pay for the project up front.


We understand in the past there have been questions as to whether the City is really using money wisely and really should get the added revenue it is asking for. We at the City understand that City revenue comes from taxpayers and as such we have a duty to ensure proper use of those funds. Here are just some of the examples of cost saving measures we have employed in the past short while
  • $700,000 saved by rerouting the Highland Fields sewer line
  • $150,721 saved over 11 years by refinancing the Building Bond
  • $379,197 saved over 11 years by refinancing the Parks Bond
  • $17,600 saved per year by outsourcing street sweeping service
  • $48,663 saved by splitting the reconstruction cost of 6000 West with Utah County
  • $175,000 saved from the road reconstruction budget by simultaneously upgrading the sewer on the 10400 North reconstruction
  • A number of monies saved by doing a variety of project in-house instead of hiring outside contractors. Some examples include:
    • Re-roofing the pavilion at Heritage Park
    • Building the stage at the Community Center
    • Creating a new logo and style guide

Utility funds are unique in that the revenue generated for them is required by law to only be used for that fund. That means that the culinary water portion of your bill goes into the culinary water fund and can only be used for culinary water projects. It can't go to roads, it can't go to public safety, it can't even go to pressurized irrigation. 

Below are a highlight of some of the capital and maintenance projects that will be completed according to the maintenance and master plans. You can also see the full list here.

Pressurized Irrigation System
  • Increase Cash Reserves
    • Cash balances in reserves is drastically low. If rates were not raised, the account balance at the end of FY 2017 would have been negative.
  • 11800 Pressure Zone Modification
    • People who live in this area have excessively high water pressure to the point it causes water overuse as well as broken sprinkler heads. This modification will correct the problem.
  • Expansion of Lower Storage Pond
    • Will ensure adequate water storage for peak demand as well as future growth.

Storm Drain System
  • Replacement and Maintenance of Sumps
    • Will keep pollutants from entering the ground.
  • Improvement of roadway drains
    • Will help get water off of the roads and into the drains.

Sewer System
  • Rehabilitation of Pheasant Hollow/Hidden Oaks concrete pipe
    • Current pipe allows roots to get in which could lead to sewer backups
  • Replace lift stations and or lift station generators
    • Will ensure sewage can be delivered to Timpanogos Special Service District so that sewer backups do not occur.

Culinary Water System
  • Viewpoint booster station generator
    • Will ensure that water can still be pumped during a power outage.
  • Pressure reducing valve placement in the lower zone
    • People who live in the lower elevations of Highland have excessively high water pressure. This will correct the problem.
  • Well House 2 & 3 replacement
    • Will ensure no disruption in service as these wells are nearing the end of their usable life.

In July 2011, Highland City raised both storm drain and PI rates for a totally utility bill increase of $5.58 per month. In July 2014, Timpanogos Special Service District raised sewer rates $3.97 per month. Since that time enormous growth has occurred and some of our systems have come to the end of their usable life.

In looking at the utility project timeline below, many of the needed projects are coming up soon. Just like a car and an oil change, regular maintenance is needed on our utility systems to keep them functioning at their optimal level. If we push regular maintenance projects off, it could result bigger and more costly projects in the future.

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