The City currently has 7 monthly service charges based on the size of the water meter (5/8 - 3/4 meter, 1 inch meter, 1.5 inch meter, 2 inches meter, 3 inches meter, 4 inches meter, 6 inches meter) combined with a variable Consumption rate charge per 1,000 gallons that increases with water usage (0-05,000 gallons, 5,001-10,000 gallons, 10,001 to 15,000 gallons, 15,001 to 20,000 gallons, 20,001 to 25,000 and 25,001 gallons and up). Based on the cost of service in providing water to residents the City will need to adjust its water rates.
The City's water rate consultant has also recommended the adoption of a 3 rate tiers and removing the inclining black rate structure the City currently charges its customers. The proposed usage range for consumption are based on the specific assignment of the cost related to providing water service to each class of users. Reducing the larger existing consumption classes (15,000 gallons and above) will promote greater and more equitable conservation incentives for all users.
The proposed sewer rates are based on the actual cost of service for each class. For a single family residential customer, their monthly sewer user would increase from $24.80 to $26.58 or by $3.18. While the City has already approved a 10% increase in rates for fiscal year 2017, it is recommended that this rate increase not occur until the proposed full 5 year rate tariffs is approved and adopted by the City.
The City's utility rate consultant, Hawksley Consulting, evaluated the sufficiency of the Utility's revenues to meet all of its current and projected financial requirements over a 10-year projection period, and determined the level of any rate revenue increases necessary in each year of the projection period to provide sufficient revenues to fund all of its cost requirements. Along with City staff, they thoroughly discussed the base data and assumptions of the analysis, and reviewed several alternative scenarios for the water and sewer funds.
Through this process, they identified the recommended financial management plan and associated plan of annual water and sewer rate revenue increases presented in their report to address the current and projected cost requirements of the Utility. The recommended financial management plan and corresponding plan of water and sewer rate revenue adjustments are based upon the revenue and expense information, beginning balances, and assumptions as described in the full water and sewer cost of service rate study (PDF), published on May 24, 2016 and presented to the City Council on May 30, 2016. Additional information regarding this report can be obtained by viewing the consultant's presentation (PDF) of the utility study.