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Auburn, Calif – Directors of the Placer County Water Agency on Thursday (Dec. 6) approved increases in the agency’s water rates, fees and charges for 2008.  The changes take effect Jan. 1.

 The board’s vote followed a detailed, 90-minute staff presentation on the agency’s increasing costs and needs for system maintenance and a 30-minute public comment period during which questions by two speakers were addressed.

 PCWA Director of Financial Services Joseph Parker said staff recommended moderate rate adjustments to allow the agency to keep up with increasing costs for providing water service and rebuilding aging water system infrastructure.  The proposed increases were pared back over a three-month financial review period, he noted.

 According to PCWA Director of Customer Services John Kingsbury, the rate increases will total about $1.40 per month for a typical residential water customer who conserves and uses low amounts of water, $5.31 per month for the average water user and $6.75 per month for a high water user.

 PCWA treated water bills include four components; the monthly service charge  renewal and replacement charge, state and federal mandated program charge and the water usage charge. 

 In western Placer County Zones 1, 2 and 3, there are no increases in the monthly service charge for 2008, for a standard 5/8-inch meter, a 50-cent increase in the renewal and replacement charge, a 55-cent increase in the state and federal mandate charge and percentage increases in the tiered water usage charge, depending on level of use.

 In eastern Placer County Zone 4, the monthly service charge was increased by 7.25 percent, the renewal and replacement charge by $3.69 and the mandate charge by 48 cents.

 For irrigation customers using untreated canal water, the capital facilities charge was raised from $6.20 to $6.65 per month ($0.45).  Summer irrigation water users will pay an average 3.25 percent more for water in 2008.  Examples given for summer water users include monthly increases of $3.73 for two miners’ inch service, $7.01 for 4 miners’ inches and $22.16 for 13 miners’ inches.

 Customers with questions about PCWA’s water rates, fees and charges are welcome to contact the PCWA Customer Service Center at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.
In other business, directors:
 • approved a 2008 Water System budget of $91.2 million.  Combined with a Power System budget of $21.4 million and Agency Wide budget of $10.2 million, the agency’s overall combined budget for 2008 stands at $122.8 million.
 • approved the submittal of a Pre-Application Document (PAD) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  The submittal is a key step in the agency’s multiyear project to relicense the Middle Fork American River Project.
 • approved a consulting services contract with R.W. Beck, Inc. for assistance in developing a power marketing plan for the Middle Fork project.
 • approved environmental studies, mitigation measures and a project to replace the Baker Siphon, an 850-foot section of pipe on the Boardman Canal off Placer Hills Road four miles south of Colfax.  The leaking 36-inch pipeline will be replaced with new 42-inch pipe.

 The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors will be held at 2 p.m. on Dec. 20 at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn.  PCWA board meetings are open to the public.

 Information on PCWA board meetings may be obtained through the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850.

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