BY JENNIFER MADRIGAL
Eastvale – On Sept. 8, Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD) voted to begin the process of increasing both water and sewer rates over the next five years. The results were tallied at 4-1 (with Director Blais casting the dissenting vote). The increase was announced via a Proposition 218 notice, which was mailed out to customers near the end of September. A public hearing to discuss these changes will be held in November.
According to JCSD, as presented at their Board Meeting, the decision to raise these rates came after a series of three Board workshops were held to determine the District’s financial needs. A comprehensive cost of service study was done by Municipal & Financial Services Group to determine a financial model based on Operations and Maintenance revenues and expenditures, capital needs, debt service, and maintaining a healthy reserve balance. The result of this study was a recommended increase in “Water Revenue” of 5% over the next five years, and a 2% increase in sewer revenue rates over the next five years.
In the Board package, JCSD outlined their considerations for both the water and sewer rate structures, as follows:
Considerations for Water Rate
- Alternative A – Unit Rate: All customers pay same rate per metered hundred cubic feet (HCF).
- Alternative B – Alternative Tiers: Aggressive conservation structure for Single and Multi-Family Residential.
- Alternative C – Current Structure: Increase Water Rates.
Considerations for Sewer Rate:
- Alternative A – Fixed Charge: All customers pay fixed charge per equivalent dwelling unit (EDU), with an HCF charge capped at 8 HFC.
- Alternative B – Reduced Cap and % of Usage: Reduce cap to 11 from 20 HCF, and base HCF charge on 39% of annual average usage.
- Alternative C – Modified Current Structure: Reduce cap to 11 HCF from 20 HCF and use current average of two lowest winter months for HCF charge.
The board ultimately decided to adopt Alternative C in relation to the water rates and Alternative A in relation to the sewer rates. Both alternatives will result in an increase in rates beginning as early as January 2015.
While the revenue increase is only four percent each year for water, and two percent each year for sewer, this refers only to the increase in total revenue generated, not actual increases in rates. The increases in rates are far higher.
According to JCSD Director, Chad Blais, “The increase in the fixed rate and commodity rate (or HCF) for water will increase 28% and 17%, respectively, by 2019; and the increase in the fixed rate and commodity rate (or HCF) for sewer will increase 15.6% and 40%, respectively, by 2019.”
A Public Hearing concerning this issue will be held on November 10, at 7 p.m. at the JCSD offices, located at 11201 Harrel Street in Mira Loma. More information, including links to these reports and board meeting minutes, can be found by visiting http://www.jcsd.us.