Assessments, FEES & RATES
- Determining Utility Charges
- Engineering & Permit Charges
- Landfill & Sanitation Charges
- Special Assessment Charges
- Wastewater & Water Charges
How Charges are Determined
The City’s water rate structure consists of two components: a fixed monthly charge based on the size of the water meter at each connection, and a series of volumetric rates assessed based on total water use as measured in units of one hundred cubic feet (CCF), equivalent to 748 gallons.
The rate per one hundred cubic feet increases as monthly usage increases.
- The rate for the first tier is applied to each CCF of water use for usage between 1 and 14 CCF (10,470 gallons)
- The second tier rate is for usage between 15 and 43 CCF (32,160 gallons)
- The third tier rate is applied for usage between 44 and 100 CCF (74,800 gallons)
- The fourth tier rate is charged for each CCF of water use in excess of 100 CCF
The wastewater rate structure also consists of two components:
- The monthly service charge based on the size of the meter.
- A volume charge that is based on the amount of wastewater created. This metric is reflective of the 4 tier rate structure displayed above under water rates.
The City of Billings regularly reviews the water and wastewater rates to determine whether the current rates are generating adequate revenue to cover the cost of providing safe drinking water and wastewater services to the entire community. Safe drinking water and reliable infrastructure is a priority for the City in order to accommodate current needs and future growth.
Billings Public Works may propose an increase to existing rates when necessary. These changes would be reflected in the fixed monthly minimum charges and the volume charges for water and wastewater, private fire protection, permit and other miscellaneous special fees.
The rate adjustments are needed to cover the increasing cost of service due to community growth and increased utilization. Providing for necessary future improvements and facility expansion to accommodate the needs of the community is also a consideration when rate changes are requested.
Conservation to Maintain Affordable Water Rates
The City of Billings actively promotes conservation through its water rate structure, to both conserve its water supply and to manage long-term capital needs. As the City continues to grow, additional infrastructure will be needed to meet increased capacity requirements. The intent of the conservation rate structure is to enable users to work together to manage total peak water use demands, and thus wastewater flows, to effectively delay future water and wastewater system expansion needs. This saves everyone money.
"Tip of the Month"
Don’t set it and forget it! You should water your grass less in May than you would in July. Adjust your irrigation timers each month to account for weather and precipitation changes.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense webpage has great information on conservation.
Alliance for Water Efficiency
Check out other tips and tools available for water conservation and sustainable landscape design at the Alliance for Water Efficiency website. A non-profit organization dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of water, the Alliance serves as an advocate for water efficient products and programs, and provides information and assistance on water conservation efforts.
American Water Works Association
The American Water Works Association is a large nonprofit, scientific and educational association created this comprehensive clearinghouse of resources on water conservation, efficiency and demand management for conservation professionals and the larger water supply community.
To request service or make changes to your account please call our service center at 406-657-8315.
Solid Waste Rates & Fees for Fiscal Year 2020
The Resolution Establishing Solid Waste Residential and Commercial Collection and Disposal Fees and Landfill Use Fees was adopted by the Billings City Council on June 10, 2019. These fees become effective July 1, 2019 and are available to view in their entirety in Resolution 19-10799 (PDF).
Residential Service Charges
|Description of Service||Monthly Fee|
|Mobile Home Located in Mobile Park||$11.25|
|Residential Carry-Out Service||$22.50|
Commercial Monthly Fee Based on Frequency of Collections Per Week
|Container Size||1 Collection||2 Collections||3 Collections||4 Collections||5 Collections||6 Collections||Saturday Collection|
|Each 30 Gallon Can||$6.86||$13.72||$20.58||$27.44||$34.30||$42.86||$13.72|
Please note: Saturday service without six times per week pick-up will be assessed double the one time per week rate.
The City of Billings does not sell dumpsters.
All new services will have a leased container. This also applies to service changes.
A commercial 90 gallon barrel is $17.32 per month; a 300 gallon barrel is $38.70 per month.
Compactor containers will be assessed at 2.5 times the above rate.
Roll off boxes are $151 per haul, $19.85 per ton, and $3.00 a day rental fee.
City-Owned Container Lease Rates
|Less than 6 yards||$20.60 per month|
|6 or 8 yards||$27.10 per month|
- Special Assessment Descriptions & Contacts
- Petition to Reduce Arterial Fee Assessment
- Request for Splitting of Special Assessment
Special Improvement Districts (SID)
The City of Billings has chosen to utilize the practice of Special Improvement Districts for the construction of certain public improvements. This practices ensures that tax dollars are spent on an equitable basis and keeps general taxes as reasonable as possible.
What is a Special Improvement District?
A Special Improvement District (commonly referred to as an SID) is a group of properties that become a legal entity in order to construct public improvements. Some improvements that can be constructed through an SID include:
- Curb and gutter
- Sewer main
- Storm drain
- Street paving
- Water main
Improvement costs are carried by property owners within the SID boundaries. For additional information regarding SIDs, please contact the City Engineer’s Office at 406-657-8231.
Initiation of a District
One or more interested property owners may request creation of a district. An informal petition may be obtained from the City engineer’s office. Although the petition may be submitted bearing the signatures of any number of property owners, it is most helpful if at least 51% of the property owners within the proposed district boundary indicate an interest in having the improvements constructed.
Neighborhood meetings to inform property owners about the district may be set up. The City engineer’s office, or a consulting engineer, will often attend meetings to provide information because property owners may have technical questions concerning boundaries, improvement design, or the method of assessment.
The City recognizes these issues can be influencing factors in the decision to create the district, so every effort is made to have City staff on hand to answer property owners’ questions.
After the City receives a property owner petition, the City must follow specific guidelines established by State Law to create the district.
Step 1: Resolution of Intent to Create
After review by appropriate City departments, a report is forwarded to the City Council regarding:
- Assessment and bonding data
- Cost estimates
- District maps
The City Council bases their decision to adopt the Resolution of Intent to Create upon this information.
Step 2. Public Notices
After the City Council adopts the Resolution of Intent to Create, the City will publish a notice in a local newspaper and mail notices to all affected property owners within the proposed district. A public hearing date is also scheduled after the conclusion of the 15-day protest period.
Step 3: Right of Protest
State Law gives all property owners within a proposed district the right to protest. The 15-day protest period allows property owners to submit formal written protest to the City Clerk. A 50% protest (75% on sanitary sewer) from affected property owners can kill a district.
Design & Plan Review
The City Engineer’s Office will authorize the design and plan review after the City Council passes the Resolution to Create the district. The time factor varies from one month to several months depending upon the complexity of the improvements.
The City Clerk advertises for construction bids when the design is complete. After bids are opened, the City Engineer’s Office will recommend that the City Council award the construction contract to the bidder with the lowest qualified bid. The bid must be within the cost estimate included within the Special Improvement District (SID) creation documents.
The length of time for actual construction of the improvements varies with the type of improvements. The City Engineer’s Office oversees the improvements to ensure they are constructed according to City standards and specifications and completed in a timely manner. A one-year warranty period is provided to ensure no future problems arise.
Funding comes from the sale of bonds. These bonds are sold through a public bid process similar to the construction bids. Bonds are usually sold to the bidder offering the lowest interest rate.
Because the City’s general fund is not designed to subsidize the costs of special improvements, it is necessary that those receiving the benefit of the improvements bear the costs. The factors involved with costs and assessments to property owners include:
- Advertising and Notices
- Construction Costs
- Design Engineering
- Finance Administration
- Special Improvement District (SID) Administration
The district’s overhead costs may be as much as 35% to 40% of the actual improvements construction costs.
Assessments are spread upon the affected properties as provided by State Law. The SID does have some flexibility in determining the method of assessment, so it is beneficial to property owners to be involved with the neighborhood committee and meetings before the SID is created.
Once bids are awarded, notices are mailed to property owners providing the option of paying the entire amount within 30 days from the date of the notice. If the SID is not paid on the due date, it is automatically placed on individual property tax rolls. The property owner will then pay off the SID over a period of years, generally 12 to 15 years.
Interest is determined by the bond sale and is charged against the unpaid principal.
After construction is complete, the final costs are tabulated. If they are lower than originally assessed, the City will adopt a resolution amending the cost and lower the costs of the properties. Any property that paid early will receive a refund and others will have future assessments lowered.
To request service or make changes to your account please call our service center at 406-657-8315.
Water & Wastewater Utility Rates and Fees
The current rates and fees were adopted by the City Council on May 28, 2019 and became effective July 1, 2019. View Resolution 19-10796 (PDF).
Water Metered Monthly Charges Within City
|Customer Class||Volume (in Centum Cubic Feet (ccf))||Rate|
|Residential - Block 1||0 to 14 ccf||$2.53|
|Residential - Block 2||15 to 43 ccf||$3.04|
|Residential - Block 3||44 to 100 ccf||$3.95|
|Residential - Block 4||Greater than 100 ccf||$5.93|
Water Metered Monthly Charges Outside City
|Customer Class||Volume (in Centum Cubic Feet (ccf)||Rate|
|Residential - Block 1||0 to 14 ccf||$2.63|
|Residential - Block 2||15 to 43 ccf||$3.15|
|Residential - Block 3||44 to 100 ccf||$4.10|
|Residential - Block 4||Greater than 100 ccf||$6.15|
Wastewater Monthly Volume Charges
|Customer Class||Rate per ccf|
|Residential (In and Out of City)||$3.50|
|Commercial - Domestic Strength||$3.50|
|Commercial - High Strength||$6.70|