What do water, wastewater, and solid waste rates fund?
The City provides water, sewer (wastewater), and solid waste (solid waste rates include street-sweeping services) service to over 39,000 customers (residential and commercial). The City Charter requires all utilities to be financially self-sufficient. Monthly rates paid by customers are the primary source of revenue.
All revenue from utility bills fund maintenance and operation of the utilities. Revenue is not used for other general government purposes. Revenues must meet costs such as purchasing raw water, energy, chemicals, rehabilitation and replacement of equipment/infrastructure, maintenance, regulatory costs, and salaries. Revenue from rates is also used to pay off debt incurred for construction of capital improvements for water and wastewater systems. Utility rates are calculated to provide revenues that 1) recover costs reasonably borne to provide services; 2) are equitable to all customer classes; 3) are proportionate to the cost of providing services attributable to the parcels within each customer class; and 4) recover the City’s fixed costs of operating and maintaining the treatment plants and collection/distribution systems.
Changes to Water and Wastewater Rates:
An increase in the rates is necessary in order to recover sufficient revenues to operate and maintain the City’s water and wastewater systems. Rate increases will become effective on July 1, 2013. Utility bills for a typical single family home are shown in Table 1: Proposed Rate Adjustments 2013-2014.
Water: An average single family home with typical water usage can expect their monthly water bill to increase about $0.77 a month, from about $30.64 to $31.41. The increase in July 2014 will increase the bill to about $32.22.
Wastewater: For wastewater service, a typical single family home can expect their monthly wastewater bill to increase about $0.87 a month, from about $29.00 to $29.87. The increase in July 2014 will increase the bill to about $30.77.
Table 1: Rate Adjustments 20I3-2014 – Impact on Typical Residential Customer
Impact on Commercial Customer Bills:
|FY 14/15 Rates Analysis: Bill Estimates (Monthly)
||2013 Rate Adjustment*
||2013 Incremental $ Increase
||2013 Estimated Bill
||2014 Rate Adjustment*
||2014 Estimated Increase
||2014 Estimated Bill
|* Rate adjustments are approximate. Actual bills may vary due to rounding.
Commercial consumption rates vary by type of customer. Water and wastewater rates will increase by the same proportion as increases in the residential consumption category. For Solid Waste commercial customers using roll-off services, rates will be adjusted to include the cost of hauling only. Tipping fees will no longer be incorporated into the rate structure, as explained below.
Changes to Commercial Solid Waste Rates:
No changes are scheduled for residential solid waste or most commercial services. A rate structure modification applies to Commercial Solid Waste Roll-Off Bin (Open Top and Compactor) services only. The new rate will not incorporate tipping fee tonnage, but will be a standard rate of $286 per haul (will not vary by bin size) based on the cost to the City to provide the service. The cost of tonnage will vary per customer, based on the weight per haul.
City Council Adoption of Rates - April 3, 2013