Summary: Bill Decrease for Most Customers
More than half of all customers (those with average and low use) would see a decrease in their winter bill of about $8 per month and no increase in summer bills in the first year.
All multi-unit customers would save money, including mobile home parks and apartment complexes.
Examples of How the Proposed Rate Changes will Affect Your Water Bill
To determine the amount of the proposed bill for individual properties, click the link to the rate calculator shown below. You can also contact the District office for help. Below are examples of bills in the first year.
Use the image above as an example from a water bill to plug your data into the Bill Calculator link below
Download the Bill Calculator to help determine your possible bill.Bill-Calculator-FY-2021-22-V2.xlsx
We Cut Costs and Control Expenses
Cost control is a daily focus of the District; here are some examples that help us keep rates down:
- $1.89 million in benefits from outside water sales since 2015 - This pays for critical water system improvements without using funds from our customers.
- We obtained $1.3 million in grants in May 2021 and $75,000 in grants last year - funding used to invest in critical water system upgrades and not billed to our customers.
- Small staff - Our lean staff of seven are hard at work each day operating the dam, treatment plant, pipelines, pumps, fixing fire hydrants, answering questions, and more.
- Long-term planning for cost savings and reliability - We invest about $1 million each year to ensure that the water system is always reliable and provides the water you need.
Reducing revenue for the next five years - In addition, the District is proposing to reduce its budget for needed facility upgrades and replacements over the next five years and will seek grants and water sales to make up the difference. The District now maintains healthy emergency reserves in case there are emergency or unexpected financial needs.
Community Advisor Committee Recommendations Followed
In developing the proposed rate changes, the District followed the recommendations of the Community Advisory Committee that met in late 2019, studied the Districtâ€™s rates, and published seven key recommendations.
- Eliminated the multi-unit charge - The proposed rate structure eliminates the multi-unit charge so that all customers will pay the same fixed service charge based on the size of their service connection.
- Use only one tier for consumption charge - The proposed structure has only one tier; all customers will pay the same charge for water used due to the elimination of the mid-day load factors for commercial properties.
- Eliminate or reduce higher costs for commercial accounts - All commercial, multi-unit, and single-family residential customers will pay based on the same service connection size and consumption charge in the proposed structure.
- Adjust the proportion of costs collected from the current 95% fixed and 5% variable to 80% fixed cost and 20% variable cost. Customers can now lower their water bills more easily by using less water because a larger portion of their bill is based on metered water use.
Questions and Answers about the Rate Structure Change Study and Rate Study
Q: When was the last rate increase:
A: July 15, 2018. The rates have remained unchanged since then.
Q: When was the last rate structure study:
A: The last approved rate structure was 2014. The District completed a study in 2020, but it was not approved.
Q: What is a Rate Structure Study?
A: A rate structure study reviews every aspect of the Districtâ€™s service, including managing the dam and reservoir, treatment and delivery, facility replacement and upgrades, daily operations, repaying loans to upgrade the system and purchase the dam, and many other factors. The purpose is to identify the changes in the proportion of costs required to serve each customer class (residential and commercial) caused by changes in customer water use, state regulations, service costs, etc.
Q: Can the District postpone the rate structure and rate changes?
A: The Cost of Service Study and update of the rate structure must be completed by August 2021.
Q: What are the next steps in the rate study process?
A: See the table below