By Phillip Pesola–
The Citrus Heights Water District will be holding a public hearing next month regarding proposed rate and service fee increases for 2023.
In addition to raising the bi-monthly service charge for a typical 1-inch residential meter from $91.33 to $94.69, the proposal seeks a 20% increase in the cost per unit of water, from current rate of $1.19 to $1.43, with one unit of water being equal to 748 gallons.
“Gradual rate adjustments ensure that the District can continue to balance short-term demands and long-term needs as well as help avoid significant unplanned rate adjustments which can result from failing infrastructure,” the district said in a legally required Proposition 218 mailer sent to affected customers.
If the increase is approved by the district’s 3-member board of directors next month, the district says the average water bill will still be below the average for the Sacramento region.
Following consecutive increases in recent years, the district opted to not raise rates for 2021. Rates in 2022 increased by 1 cent per unit, along with a $4 increase in the bi-monthly service charge rate for most users. An additional service charge of $10.05 for a typical 1-inch meter was also approved and went into effect this year to cover the district’s Project 2030 plan.
Project 2030 seeks to replace aging water mains from the year 2030 to 2080, using a mix of pay-as-you go funding, pre-funding, and debt financing, to cover the cost of major infrastructure replacement. The plan addresses the need to fund replacement of old water mains that were primarily installed between 1960 and 1985, and have a useful life of about 70 years before becoming prone to failure and costly emergency repairs, according to the district.
Property owners with CHWD water service and customers of record can attend and comment during a public hearing on Monday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. in the Citrus Heights Community Center, South Flex Room A, at 6300 Fountain Square Drive.
Written statements of protest can also be submitted before or during the hearing, but electronic communications are not accepted. If written protests are received from a majority of affected properties, the rate adjustment will not be approved.
Protest letters can be mailed to the District Secretary at: P.O Box 286, Citrus Heights, CA 95611.