Tahoe City water, sewer rate increase hearing set for Friday | SierraSun.com

Tahoe City water, sewer rate increase hearing set for Friday

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The Tahoe City Public Utility District Board of Directors will hold a public hearing Friday on a proposed five-year water and sewer rate hike for its customers.

Today, a typical residential water customer pays about $73.94 a month, while sewer customers pay $36.34 a month, according to the district.

If the increase is approved, average residential rates could start at $76.49 and $38.41 in 2015, respectively, and rise to $96.57 and $47.93 by 2019.

The proposed rates are the maximum that can be implemented during the next five years, according to the PUD. They would cover operating cost increases, capital improvements and continued work by the district to rehabilitate its aging infrastructure.

The PUD projects $22.6 million and $12.3 million in water and sewer capital projects over the next five years. The rate hike would fund about half of those amounts, according to the PUD. Remaining funding would come from a mix of grants, property tax revenues, reserves and financing.

The district's water system is about 36 years old, and the sewer system is about 44 years old, according to past reports. The PUD serves 4,188 water customers and 7,540 sewer customers.

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According to Proposition 218, a mailer on proposed rate changes must be sent to every affected property owner at least 45 days in advance of a hearing.

The PUD sent out such a mailer on Sept. 19, which also informed property owners how to protest rates, said Cindy Gustafson, district general manager. Residents have until the end of Friday's public hearing to submit written protest or provide oral testimony.

If a majority of customers — more than 50 percent — of either service protests the rate schedule, the increases will be rejected by the board.

If approved, the new schedule will go into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

Friday's hearing begins at 9 a.m. at the PUD board room at 221 Fairway Drive.

To learn more, visit http://www.tcpud.org and click on 'Proposition 218' on the right-hand side.

By the numbers

2015: $76.49 (water), $38.41 (sewer) in proposed average residential customer monthly rates

2016: $81.08, $40.60

2017: $85.94, $42.92

2018: $91.10, $45.36

2019: $96.57, $47.93

Source: TCPUD