Proposed Water and Sewer Rate Increases

Proposed Water and Sewer Rate Increases 

The City of Camarillo (City) and the Camarillo Sanitary District Board (CSD) are proposing water and sewer rate increases effective 1/1/2017 and 1/1/2018 to users of the City Water and CSD Wastewater System.  A public hearing on the proposed rate increases is scheduled for November 1, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers at 601 Carmen Drive, Camarillo, 93010.

Most of the City of Camarillo is served by its Water Division of the Public Works Department for water services, and the CSD for wastewater (sewer) services.  One of the more challenging aspects of managing water and sewer systems is balancing the need to keep the system capable and competent to meet user demand while minimizing the impact on the ratepayers. In finding this balance, issues that are often considered include rate stability, affordability for essential use, equity and defensibility, and environmental stewardship. The City’s water and sewer utility enterprises are subject to these pressures due to capital-intensive plans in an environment of fluctuating capital costs and increasing regulatory demand.

Proposition 218, reflected in the California Constitution as Article XIII D, was enacted in 1996 to ensure that rates and fees are reasonable and proportional to the cost of providing service. The principal requirements for fairness of the fees, as they relate to public water and sewer service are as follows:

1.            A property-related charge (such as rates for water and sewer service) imposed by a public agency on a parcel shall not exceed the costs required to provide the property related service.

2.            Revenues derived by the charge shall not be used for any purpose other than that for which the charge was imposed.

3.            The amount of the charge imposed upon any parcel shall not exceed the proportional cost of service attributable to the parcel.

4.            No charge may be imposed for a service unless that service is actually used or immediately available to the owner of property.

5.            A written notice of the proposed charge shall be mailed to the record owner of each parcel at least 45 days prior to the public hearing, when the agency considers all written protests against the charge.

As stated in the American Water Works Association’s Principles of Water Rates, Fees and Charges (AWWA M1 Manual), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Manual of Practice No. 27, Financing and Charges for Wastewater Systems, 2004, “water and sewer rates and charges should be recovered from classes of customers in proportion to the cost of serving those customers.” Proposition 218 requires that water and sewer rates cannot be arbitrary and capricious, meaning that the rate-setting methodology must be sound and that there must be a nexus between the costs and the rates charged. The City and CSD have hired outside consultants who specialize in water and sewer rate studies and who follow industry standard rate setting methodologies set forth by the AWWA M1 Manual and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Manual, to ensure the City and CSD meet Proposition 218 requirements.

The City Council and CSD will hold a public hearing on the proposed rate increases on November 1, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers at 601 Carmen Drive, Camarillo, 93010.

Links:

Proposition 218 Notice of Public Hearing for Water Rates

Proposition 218 Notice of Public Hearing for Wastewater (Sewer) Rates

Proposition 218 Notice of Public Hearing for Airport Water Rates

Frequently Asked Questions for Proposed Water Rate Increases

Frequently Asked Questions for Proposed Wastewater (Sewer) Rate Increases

City of Camarillo Water Rate Study

Camarillo Sanitary District Wastewater Rate Study