Based on the results of a water rate study, the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) has proposed changes to water rates and service charges that will increase the average residential bill by approximately $1.35 per month. DSRD's Board of Directors will hold a series of public meetings on Feb. 19, March 5, March 19 and April 2 to discuss the proposal.
According to a release, revenue from the proposed changes would cover the cost of water service and accomplish revenue stability goals set by the Board of Directors. Those goals include making cash flow more predictable, meeting the minimum requirements for water-related debt payments with ratepayer revenue, budgeting to replace recycled water assets in the future and continuing to motivate efficient water use.
"Increasing the part of revenue that is predictable throughout the year stabilizes our rates and improves our credit rating," said Board President Dawn Benson, "and this reduces the cost of borrowing. Also, customers can always reduce their bills by using water efficiently."
Customers would see the biggest change in their fixed water service charge and the temporary infrastructure charge. Approximately 96 percent of the costs to operate the water system do not vary with the volume of water used, though fixed charges generate about 20 percent of water rate revenue (13 percent from the fixed charge and 7 percent from the temporary charge). Under the proposed restructuring, the temporary charge would be suspended and reduced to zero and the fixed charge will increase to generate 25 percent of water rate revenue. To offset the increase, potable water customers will pay less for each water unit in each tier.
DSRSD will mail a notice describing the maximum potential rate changes to all water customers on Feb. 22 and customers can submit written protests through 5 p.m. on April 16; hand delivered protests must be received before the close of the public hearing on April 16. Customers also may make statements or submit written protests at the public hearing.
The Board will consider adopting the proposal on April 16 after the public hearings; all of the meetings begin at 6 p.m. in the DSRSD Boardroom (7051 Dublin Blvd., Dublin). Rates would change no earlier than July 1, 2013.
The Dublin San Ramon Services District serves 145,000 people, providing potable and recycled water service to Dublin and the Dougherty Valley, wastewater collection and treatment to Dublin and south San Ramon, and wastewater treatment to Pleasanton (by contract).