2022 Water/Sewer Rates

Si habla español y tiene preguntas sobre este mensaje, favor de comunicarse con Maria Martinez al (661) 758-7215 o por email en cityclerk@cityofwasco.org 

Documents

Mailed Prop. 218 Notice for Water and Sewer - English (PDF)
Mailed Prop. 218 Notice for Water and Sewer - Spanish (PDF)
FAQs - English (PDF)
FAQs - Spanish (PDF)

Notice to Property Owners of Record and Customers of Record of Public Hearing Regarding Proposed Water and Sewer Rate Changes

Why are you receiving this notice?
The City of Wasco (the “City”) is mailing this notice to you because you are a utility customer of record directly liable for payment of water or sewer service fees or are the property owner of record that receives these services. This notice describes proposed rate changes to be assessed to recover the cost of providing water and sewer services to City customers and provides a notice of a public hearing to be held on December 20, 2022, regarding these proposed changes. At the public hearing, City Council will review the amount of the proposed rates as well as the methodology used to calculate the rates and assign rates to customers.

Monthly utility service fees are the primary source of revenue used to pay for water and sewer operations that provide services to customers. Expenses for those services include but are not limited to, operations and maintenance, major and minor capital improvements, administration, as well as costs related to prudent long‐term operational, capital planning, and financial management of the systems. Financial management would include maintaining adequate fund reserves and planning for contingencies.

Why are rate adjustments needed?
The City has not adjusted its water and sewer rates in many years. Water rates were last increased in 2015 and sewer rates were last increased in 2007. Rate adjustments are primarily needed to reconfigure the rates to more fairly recover costs based on how customers take service.

The City’s current water rates consist of a minimum fee that includes a base allotment of water plus a volume rate for water used over the allotment. The cost of the minimum fee and the amount of water included in the allotment vary based on customer type (residential, multifamily, irrigation, etc.). Over the allotment, all customers pay the same rate per unit of water consumed. Water usage is billed based on units of hundred cubic feet (ccf). One ccf equals 748 gallons.

It is proposed that the City keep the same concept of a minimum fee plus a volume rate but decrease the amount of water included in the minimum fee over the next five years. The vast majority of residential water use is within the base allotment (about 90%) and very few residential customers are billed the volume rate. By decreasing the water allotment for all customers, the City will encourage conservation and more fairly bill lower water usage customers who don’t use all the water in the allotment. Senate Bill (SB) 606 / Assembly Bill (AB) 1668 require water purveyors to achieve average indoor consumption of 52.5 gallons per day (gpd) per capita by 2025 and the ultimate target is 50 gpd per capita by 2030. At the end of the 5‐year rate plan, the City’s water allotment will roughly equal the statewide indoor water usage target for single family residential customers. The water allotment for non‐residential customers is also proposed to gradually decrease and eventually equal typical efficient indoor usage.

A schedule of drought rates is also proposed to be adopted by the City. Drought rates would only be implemented by City Council if the Governor declares a water shortage emergency. Under drought conditions, the minimum fee and usage allotment would remain the same, but water use above the minimum allotment would pay a higher rate. 

Sewer rates are determined based on customer service costs as well as the amount of wastewater flow and pollutants flushed into the sewer system. The City’s sewer rates were last increased in 2007 and wastewater flow and pollutant estimates are out of date. Residential customers are proposed to receive less than 2% annual increases to their wastewater bills. Some non‐residential customer rates are proposed to increase while others are proposed to decrease. Customers receiving decreases were found to discharge lower amounts of wastewater flow and pollutants in recent years. The sewer rates for large industrial customers are not proposed to be adjusted via this notice. Industrial customers have service agreements with the City that govern their rates and fees.

What do the new rates look like?

Table 1 identifies the water rate adjustments that are set to be assessed over the next five years. Table 2 shows the proposed sewer rate adjustments. Several categories of sewer classes are proposed to be eliminated because no customers take service under those categories. As shown, an initial rate adjustment is to become effective on January 1, 2023. Annual rate adjustments to become effective on July 1st of each of the following four years are also shown. The City reserves its authority to record or enforce a lien on properties.

TABLE 1: Proposed Monthly Water Rates

Mailed Prop. 218 Notice for Water and Sewer - English_Page_4 Opens in new window


TABLE 2: Proposed Monthly Sewer Rates

TABLE 2: Proposed Monthly Sewer Rates Opens in new window

How do you file a protest or participate in the public hearing?

The provisions of Proposition 218 provide that certain types of “Property Related Fees” such as water and sewer rates are subject to a “majority protest” process. If protests are filed on behalf of a majority of the parcels subject to the rates the City cannot adopt the proposed rates. Under the majority protest process, any property owner of record or customer of record may submit a written protest for the proposed increases; provided, however, that only one protest will be counted per identified parcel.

Every written protest MUST include ALL of the following to be counted:

  1. A statement that it is a protest against the proposed charge that is the subject of the hearing.
  2. Name of the property owner of record or customer of record who is submitting the protest;
  3. Identification of assessor's parcel number, street address, or utility account number of the parcel with respect to which the protest is made;
  4. Original signature and legibly printed name of the property owner of record or customer of record who is submitting the protest.

Protests shall not be counted if any of the required elements above (1 through 4) are omitted.

Written protests may be submitted to the City Clerk by:

  1. Delivery in person to the City Clerk's Office at 746 8th Street, Wasco, CA, 93280 during published business hours; or
  2. Mail to City Clerk at 746 8th Street, Wasco, CA 93280.; or
  3. Written protest can be submitted during the public hearing by placing protests in the City’s Mailbox located at City Hall 746 8th street, Wasco Ca 93280 prior to the conclusion of the public hearing.

Regardless of how the written protest is submitted, it must be received by the City prior to the conclusion of the public comment portion of the Public Hearing. (Postmark dates will not be accepted.) Any protest submitted via e‐mail or other electronic means will not be accepted.

Please identify on the front of the envelope for any written protest, whether mailed or submitted in person to the City Clerk, that the enclosed protest is for the Public Hearing on the Proposed Rate Changes ‐ Water and Sewer Service.

The City will hold a public hearing on December 20, 2022, at 6pm. City Council will review the amount of the rates as well as the methodology for calculating the proposed rates. The City Council will hear and consider all written and oral protests to the proposed rate changes at the Public Hearing. Oral comments at the Public Hearing will not qualify as formal protests unless accompanied by a written protest. Upon the conclusion of the Public Hearing, there will be no more written protests accepted and no more testimony taken and the City Council will consider adoption of the proposed rates described in this notice. If written protests against the proposed rates, as outlined above, are presented by a majority of property owners or customers of record, the City Council will not be authorized to impose the proposed rates at this meeting and a separate meeting will be scheduled to validate the submitted protests and determine a final count. If written protests against the proposed rates, as outlined above, are not presented by a majority of property owners or customers of record, the City Council will be authorized to impose the proposed rates. If adopted, the rates will be in effect on the dates shown in Table 1 and Table 2.

If you have any questions about the proposed rate changes or would like to see more information about data used for the rate study, please contact the City Clerk at 661‐ 758‐7215 or by email at cityclerk@cityofwasco.org  during normal business hours. Additional information and documents related to the proposed rate changes can be found on the City of Wasco’s website at www.cityofwasco.org