Sept. 20 Council update: Proposed 2023 Budget and water rates, ColoradoScape requirements for new homes move forward
The Town Manager’s Proposed 2023 Budget; proposed Castle Rock Water rates and fees for 2023; and a potential requirement for no-grass ColoradoScapes for new homes’ front lawns are moving forward following Town Council’s Sept. 20 meeting.
Here is a closer look:
- Proposed 2023 Budget – Public safety would continue as the Town’s top priority under the Proposed 2023 Budget, which Town Council approved Tuesday on first reading.
To provide resources to ensure outstanding public safety, it’s proposed that a portion of the Town’s sales tax be reallocated from the Town’s Transportation Fund to its General Fund, to allow for the hiring of four police officers and four firefighters in 2023. Enhancing the Town’s roads would remain a strong priority, with construction of the Crystal Valley interchange expected to begin in 2023, along with $18.5 million planned in annual pavement maintenance.
Improvements to Mitchell Gulch and Plum Creek North parks are planned for next year, along with numerous other key initiatives, including several to meet the priority of securing the Town’s water future.
No tax increases are proposed for 2023. The Town’s property tax mill levy would remain 1.139, which amounts to $35.53 annually for a median-valued home. Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course green fees are proposed to increase by $5 per round.
The Proposed 2023 Budget will be heard on second and final reading on Oct. 4.
for additional details, including a two-page Budget in Brief document and the Town Manager’s Budget Message..
- 2023 Castle Rock Water rates and fees – To help provide for nearly $300 million in water project investments over the next five years and offset increasing operational costs, a water rate increase of 3.9% for the typical Castle Rock Water residential customer is being proposed for 2023.
Town Council approved Tuesday on first reading an ordinance to enact the recommended rates and fees. The proposed adjustments have been driven by significant increases in electricity rates, increases in construction and labor costs, and supply chain disruptions.
For existing customers, fixed monthly charges would increase 4.5% for water, 7.5% for water resources and 4.5% for stormwater under the proposal. (Wastewater rates would remain the same as this year.) Volumetric rates for water also would increase by 4.5%. These changes result in a combined increase of 3.9% for the typical residential customer, which would equate to an additional $48.96 annually – or $4.08 per month.
System development fees imposed on new residential and commercial construction for water, water resources (capital projects), stormwater and wastewater are proposed to increase an average of 13% (10% for water, 15% for water resources, 10% for stormwater and 10% for wastewater).
- ColoradoScape requirements – Conservation is critical to securing water for Castle Rock’s future. With that in mind, Castle Rock Water is proposing that Town Council limit the amount of grass allowed in the yards of new homes permitted for construction in Castle Rock after Jan. 1, 2023.
Town Council approved on first reading Tuesday an ordinance that only applies to new homes permitted after Jan. 1, 2023 that would prohibit grass in front lawns – instead requiring water-wise ColoradoScapes – and would allow no more than 500 square feet of irrigated turf in backyards. These measures could reduce outdoor water use Townwide by about 50% once Castle Rock is fully built out.
The requirements would not apply to existing homes. Since new homes with ColoradoScaped front and back yards would impose less demand on the Town’s water system, the Town would incentivize builders to install landscaping in both areas with reduced water system development fees.
The requirements will be heard on the second and final reading on Oct. 18.
Council also approved on second and final reading (Approved 6-1, For: Gray, Bracken, Cavey, Dietz, Hollingshead, LaFleur; Opposed: Johnson) an ordinance establishing procedures for designating routes for commercial truck drivers to follow when traveling through Town, to eliminate cut-through freight traffic in predominantly residential areas. The ordinance establishes a fine structure and exclusions. The proposed truck routes will be presented as a separate resolution at the Oct. 4. Council meeting. Learn more at CRgov.com/TruckRoute