Utility rates on agenda for Tuesday meeting

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON — The Aztec City Commission will discuss a proposed contract of more than $100,000 with a Colorado-based company to perform a utility cost-of-service and rate study.

The city of Aztec's new solar farm is located off Western Drive.

The commission may approve the contract with Raftelis Financial Consultants during its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall. The study is designed to help the city determine new utility rates in light of changes in the electric utility, water treatment and wastewater treatment plants.

The study is needed due to recent changes in Aztec's utilities, including a new power purchase agreement with Guzman Energy that included the construction of a solar field, according to the staff summary report in the meeting agenda. An increased demand for alternative energy is also cited as a reason to perform a new utility study. The study will also look at buy-back rates for customers who install solar panels on their houses or businesses.

Increased debt at the wastewater utility to build a new treatment plant and a sewer outfall line, as well as future expenses to improve the city's water treatment plant and reservoirs, are cited as additional reasons to re-evaluate utility rates.