Item Coversheet

Agenda Item - 1.

Staff Report

City Council Pre/Post Briefing Meeting
July  11, 2022

Strategic Priority:  Quality of Life
Ensure that Westminster offers a diverse range of amenities and activities for residents, businesses and visitors that honor the city's history and support the arts, parks, recreation, open spaces, and libraries.

Water in Westminster - Update

Prepared By: 

Sarah Borgers, Interim Director of Public Works and Utilities

Summary Statement:


  • This report is for City Council information only and requires no action by City Council.

  • This report is an ongoing update documenting the work that has been completed since the November 29, 2021, Special City Council Study Session presentation titled Water in Westminster.


  • This Staff Report identifies updates related to City Council presentation and discussions regarding the Semper rehabilitation study work and the successful implementation of the new water rate structure. As of June 27, 2022, Staff has consolidated the Water in Westminster Staff Report for ease of review. For a detailed, step-by-step review of previous City Council directives and Staff responses, please review the previous Water in Westminster Staff Report from April 25, 2022.
Background Information:


The following actions and activities have been taken, are underway, or are planned for in the near future:


Water Rates


Staff successfully implemented the amended water rates ahead of the June billing cycle. City Council voted February 28, 2022, to reduce water rates and increase the consumption limits of the City’s three-tier water rate structure for residential customers. This new rate structure was developed through extensive financial modeling and will provide immediate financial relief ahead of the irrigation season when residents typically receive their highest water bills. The average resident will save $86 annually. The new rate structure will be effective June 1, 2022.   

Following City Council’s direction, Staff also increased the notice for disconnection of service from 45 days to 60 days and made all water-use reading cycles 30 or 31 days. Staff will begin working on per-gallon billing instead of billing by a per-thousand-gallon billing once Staff resources are available. The implementation of the new rate structure and tiers, along with the water customer application, took priority over the single-gallon billing project. 


Semper Rehabilitation and Replacement


Following City Council’s direction, Staff paused the following three projects related to Water 2025: 

  • Water 2025 Westminster Boulevard Raw Water Pipeline Extension Project Design Engineering Services Agreement (December 14, 2020) 

  • Amendment to CDM Smith, Inc. Agreement for Final Design Services for Water 2025 (July 15, 2021) 

  • Water 2025 98th Avenue Potable Water Pipeline and Supporting Utilities Design Services (July 26, 2021)


City Council requested Staff to reevaluate a site on or in the vicinity of the Municipal Services Center (MSC) and Semper Water Treatment Facility as an alternative for potential rehabilitation or replacement needs for Semper.

Staff is evaluating the Semper Water Treatment Plant and other associated or adjacent sites with a focus on feasibility, how to rehabilitate/rebuild the Semper plant, and the risks associated. Staff is working hard to complete this analysis in four and a half months. Please see the February 14, 2022, Staff Report and the March 28, 2022, Staff Report for more information. 

Staff began a series of Semper Rehabilitation and Replacement Project presentations and discussions with City Council on April  11, 2022, Post City Council meeting and an Executive Session conducted at the same meeting related to the Semper project. These presentations are intended to provide a transparent process with ample opportunity for discussion and direction from City Council as the project progresses. Staff provided two additional presentations on May 23 and June 20 to seek additional guidance from City Council. Based on feedback at the June 20 meeting, Staff will return to City Council in July with an update on the Semper work. Staff will continue to report on this project in future Water in Westminster Staff Reports. 

In order to ensure City Council is apprised of legal action and is able to provide direction on such matters, there continues to be a series of ongoing executive sessions with the City Attorney and special counsel regarding pending eminent domain litigation in Jefferson County District Court Case 2020CV30231, and for the purpose of receiving legal advice thereon, pursuant to WMC 1-11-3(C)3 and CRS 24-6-402(4)(b) and (e)(I). 


Water information is updated on the City's web page, including a specific “Water Q&A” section. 

Receiving this information advances the City's Strategic Priority of Qualify of Life by providing information to City Council regarding water and sewer utility interests.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara C. Opie
Acting City Manager