PALMDALE – Palmdale Water District will hold two community workshops and an open house in the next two months to help the public understand the recently proposed rate increases.
The workshops are scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Palmdale Learning Plaza, located at 38043 Division Street, and Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Buena Vista Elementary School, located at 37005 Hillcrest Drive. Both workshops will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
The open house is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Leslie O. Carter Water Treatment Plant, located at 700 East Avenue S.
PWD staff will be available at all three outreach events to review the agency’s 2019 Rate Study process and to answer questions about the proposed revenue increase.
“We encourage our customers to attend the open house or one of the workshops so that they can be informed about the changes being proposed,” stated General Manager Dennis D. LaMoreaux. “As a public agency, it is our duty to be transparent as we make decisions that will allow us to ensure safe, clean and reliable water every time our customers turn on their faucets.”
PWD’s board of directors voted unanimously last week to support a plan that would raise revenue by 8.1% annually for the next five years (2020-2024). This revenue increase would allow PWD to meet all operations costs, fund $30 million worth of capital improvement projects and boost reserves to $16.2 million at the end of 2024.
According to the proposed rates, customers who have a one inch or smaller meter will see their fixed monthly cost go up from $37.77 to $38.22, or 45 cents. The average single-family household in the PWD service area uses an average of 17 hcf (hundred cubic feet) of water. The bill for an average family using 17 hcf, based on the proposed increase, would be $58.63 per month, compared to the current $53.56.
“I believe the option my fellow directors and I chose is the best for our district,” stated Board President Vincent Dino. “It keeps rates for our customers who use water wisely at an acceptable amount while allowing for the upkeep of the infrastructure and existing water supplies. It is the responsibility of our board to prepare for emergencies with a healthy reserve and to plan for the future of our 101-year-old agency.”
Robert D. Niehaus, Inc. (RDN), an economic consulting firm, provided the board with revenue options after months of analyzing PWD’s financial data to determine the water rates needed to maintain economic stability for the next five years. The consultants used five years of financial data, including budgets and audits; five years of detailed billing and consumption records; five years of water production history; and future water source and demand projects.
Palmdale Water District’s board of directors will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at PWD’s main office, located at 2029 East Avenue Q, before voting for the proposed rates.
Written public protests must be submitted to PWD before the end of the public hearing. The official Public Hearing Notice, which will have the criteria for filing a formal protest, will be mailed to all property owners within PWD’s service boundaries.
For more information about Palmdale Water District, visit www.palmdalewater.org.
[Information via news release from the Palmdale Water District.]