Truckee utility district adopts increased water rates for 2010, 2011 | SierraSun.com

Truckee utility district adopts increased water rates for 2010, 2011

Greyson HowardSierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Residents and commercial owners residing in the Truckee Donner Public Utility District will pay more for water usage over the next two years.The districtandamp;#8217;s board on Wednesday adopted increases in the form of 1.75 percent hikes for each of the next two years. The changes reflect rising operational costs, new zoning areas that charge according to how high or far water needs to be pumped and a state requirement to start metering water usage, and billing accordingly.The increase in 2010 will add $170,000 to the districts revenue that year, and the 2011 increase will add $173,000, said Mary Chapman, administrative services manager, which will help combat projected future cost increases.The board adopted the changes 4-0, with Pat Sutton absent.The changes had to be sensitive to coming metered rates, said board President Ron Hemig, to make sure if a customerandamp;#8217;s usage changes, the district still gets enough revenue to cover costs.andamp;#8220;The thing that was so important for the board to consider was we had to be sure the rates were close to reality … if we came out with a rate matrix that was wrong, what would happen? People would have rate shock and reduce their usage, and we would be under revenue,andamp;#8221; Hemig said. andamp;#8220;Eighty-five percent of our costs are fixed, water is only a tiny bit.andamp;#8221;Customers will get a year between their meter being activated and being billed by the volumn of water they use, Chapman said, so they can compare their current bill with what they would pay based on usage, and make changes accordingly.Residential customers will pay on an inclining-block rate andamp;#8212; paying a set amount ($0.55 per 1,000 gallons) until they hit 8,000 gallons, when they start paying more ($0.69 per 1,000 gallons), Chapman said.Commercial users will pay a uniform amount per gallon without an increase after a certain amount, Chapman said, where as businesses are billed a flat monthly rate today.

To learn more about the new rates, when meters will be installed in your area, what pump zone you are in and the answers to frequently asked questions, go to http://www.tdpud.org and click andamp;#8220;Water Meters, Rates andamp; Zones,andamp;#8221; on the left side of the page.