Water Commission Recommends Higher Rates

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com.

Higher water rates could be in the city’s future after the Water Commission voted to recommend new water rates to the City Council.

The Glendora Water Commission voted 4-0 to recommend rate changes. The proposed water rate increases are needed for capital improvements, to fully fund fixed operational charges and to fund $5 million per year to rebuild the infrastructure, city staff said.

Water restrictions imposed by the state during the prolonged drought have significantly reduced water revenues, said Public Works Director Dave Davies.

“Our capital component deficit is where our problem is, because our income is severely reduced. We’re not collecting enough to do our capital projects,” Davies said.

A five-year rate case was developed by Public Works staff and consultant Vicente, Lloyd & Stutsman using operation and maintenance costs, the cost to produce water, the costs to purchase water, historical averages and recent trends in an effort to provide the city’s Water Division a reliable revenue source to continue funding capital improvements, Davies said.

The proposed rates have been calculated to affect those who use more water:

Infograph by Aaron Castrejon.

Infograph by Aaron Castrejon.

“Staff and our consultant have prepared a five year scenario to address the diminishing revenue to ensure a reliable revenue source to maintain our capital program, while making the rates as fair as possible to our ratepayers, especially those that conserve,” Davies said.

Funds generated by the proposed rate increases can only be used for water  production, distribution, conservation and capital improvement programs, Davies said.

The City Council will next adopt a Resolution of Intent, likely September 12, to begin public hearings for the rate increases and take into consideration all protests by the owners of identified parcels. If more than half of the 13,500 customers served submit written protests, the higher rates will not be imposed.

A public hearing and protest would take place November 8 and property owner ratification would take place. After a second reading November 22 the new rates, if approved, would be effective January 1, 2017.