PCWA Board Receives Rate Study, Initiates Proposition 218 Process


AUBURN, Calif. – At the September 7 meeting of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors, the Board received a presentation on a recently-completed rate study, which outlines Agency costs and needed revenue for ongoing and future operations. Following discussion on the study,  the Board voted to initiate the Proposition 218 process and set November 2, 2017, as the hearing date on proposed adjustments to water rates.
 
The rate study, which is the product of a two year process, uses a cost-of-service approach to calculate the new rates and reflects a new administrative paradigm for PCWA’s western water system. The proposed rate schedule restructures existing treated and untreated water rates, for retail and resale customers, by establishing a uniform rate structure throughout PCWA’s service area. It also consolidates the Agency’s current, seven-tier commodity structure to three tiers, for most rate schedules. Included in the proposed rates is an annual escalation equal to the rate of inflation.
 
“There are two reasons for the proposed adjustment in rates,” said Einar Maisch, PCWA’s General Manager. “The first reason is to maintain compliance with current law.” In 2015, a California appellate court ruled in the San Juan Capistrano rate case that tiered water rates must be based on the actual cost of providing water service to each customer, rather than an escalating scale based on the quantity of water used. “The second reason,” Maisch continued, “is related to capital improvement projects. For the past four years, PCWA has been using reserves to complete needed renewal and replacement projects. The new rates reflect the increased cost of updating, operating, and maintaining PCWA’s water system.” 
 
The action by the Board to initiate the Proposition 218 process formally opens a 45-day public comment period. As required by statute, all PCWA customers will receive official notice, by mail, of the proposed changes and the process to provide input. Following the public hearing on November 2, the Board can consider adoption of the new rate schedule.
 
More information on the proposed rate changes and Proposition 218 process can be found at pcwa.net. 
 
The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, September 21, 8:15 AM at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn. PCWA board meetings are open to the public.
 
For information on PCWA board meetings, please contact the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.

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