Proposed Revenue Decrease and Rate Structure Change

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.

Examples of
RESIDENTIAL Bills
Water
Use
Current
Bill
Proposed
Bill
Residential low use (50% of average) 5/8” connection 5,000 gallons per month $88.44 $80.61
Residential average use 5/8” connection 10,000 gallons per month $90.54 $90.41
Residential high use (2x average) 5/8” connection 20,000 gallons per month $106.04 $110.011
Average dual service $14,000 gallons per month $176.52 $98.25
Residential average use 3/4” connection 10,000 gallons / month $90.54 $110.80
Examples of
MULTI-UNIT Bills
Water
Use
Current
Bill
Proposed
Bill
Multi-unit 36 dwelling units 1” connection 40,300 gallons per month $3,198.52 $210.97
Multi-unit 12 dwelling units 2” connection 35,600 gallons per month $1,068.70 $497.41
Multi-unit 78 dwelling units 4” connection 468,900 gallons per month $7,079.15 $2,773.92
Examples of
COMMERCIAL Bills
Water
Use
Current
Bill
Proposed
Bill
Commercial low use (50% of average) 3/4” connection 28,500 gallons per month $119.22 $147.06
Commercial average use 3/4” connection 57,000 gallons per month $163.39 $202.92
Commercial high use (2x average) 3/4” connection 114,000 gallons per month $251.74 $314.64

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 District’s rates, and published seven key recommendations.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 District’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

Date Action
June 2, 7:00 PM Board Hearing to consider rate study findings and authorize mail notice
June Customers receive detailed notice about rates and objection processes
June 4 - July 29 Respond to customer questions and collect customer input
July 29 Hearing to hear public comment, present written protests. Board may approve rates unless 50% + 1 protest.

Rate Study Documents

Rate Study

Presentation from May 27 Board hearing and May 24 Community Forum

Mailer announcing rate study and community forum

Ordinance No. 19-01

Written Objection to Proposed Water Rate Change

Notice of Ordinance 19-01 Establishing a Procedure for Ratepayer Objections to Proposed Water Rates

Notice of Public Hearing on Proposed Revenue Decrease and Rate Structure Adjustments