Department of Public Works

Rates, Fees and Affordability Programs Project

The Water Resources Division began a comprehensive effort in July 2019 to ensure that we have sustainable funding in order to maintain and enhance our high quality level of service.  This initiative was originally intended to conclude in June 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In 2021, we expect to have a final plan that allows our robust operations and continued long term capital improvements to flourish.  We will be conducting enhanced financial planning, improving rate and fee structures to mitigate the impact of future rate increases on low volume residential customers and implementing affordability programs to assist economically disadvantaged ratepayers.

For more information about this project's scope of work, click here.

Please consider attending one of our public meeting opportunities about this project.  We will be presenting at the virtual NPA meetings in January and February of 2021, and will be holding an additional Zoom webinar presentation in early April.  Water customers will also be receiving a direct letter in the coming months with additional details about what changes they should expect to see in their bill.

2021 Updated Project Schedule:

  • January - April 2021  |  Public Outreach

    • January / February 2021 NPA Meetings

    • Wards 1 & 8 - 1/13/2021 (7:00 p.m.)

    • Wards 2 & 3 - 2/11/2021 (6:30 p.m.)

    • Ward 5 - 1/21/2021 (6:30 p.m.)   

    • Ward 6 - 2/4/2021 (6:30 p.m.)

    • Wards 4 & 7 - 2/24/2021 (6:45 p.m.)

    • January 20, 2021: Presentation to Public Works Commission

    • January 25, 2021: Presentation to the Transportation, Energy, and Utilities Commission 

    • March 8-26, 2021: Direct meetings with key partners & large users

      • Targeted notifications to customers with fire services, hydrants, and irrigation meters

    • April 7, 2021: Zoom Public Meeting for all users

  • March - May 2021 | Continuous Improvement & QA/QC of Data

    • QA/QC of all fire service data

    • Develop Draft WRAP Policy

    • Propose any ordinance changes necessary

  • April - June 2021 | Approvals

    • Board of Finance & City Council vote on project specifics

    • City Council vote on FY22 Mayoral Budget & Water Resources rates

  • July - August 2021 | Implementation

    • Additional educational outreach to customers on upcoming changes

    • Changes take effect July 1, 2021

    • Will be reflected in bills mailed starting in August 2021

Process Overview

Phase 1: Initial Public Engagement/Education (October 2019-December 2019)--COMPLETED!

In this phase, we had two goals: 1) to educate the public about what services the Water, Wastewater and Stormwater utilities provide the City and 2) orient rate payers to the suite of options under consideration with regard to achieving financial sustainability and rate payer affordability.  As part of this process, we wanted to confirm alignment with some of the guiding principles and strategies of our study, as well as, gather new ideas from our users about areas we hadn’t considered exploring.  We hosted an open house in October and visited all the NPAs in November. 

Phase 2: Develop Initial Options for Rate Structure, Fees and Affordability Program and Report to City Council (2020)

In this phase we will hone in on and then recommend a number of options to the City Council for restructuring the rates, creating or updating certain fees (one time or specific to a certain user group) to recover certain costs and creating affordability programs to ensure that income disadvantaged ratepayers can continue to access clean water.  

Phase 3: Finalize Rate Structure, Fee and Affordability Programs Proposal (January 2021- June 2021)

Based on the outcome of Phase 2, the project team will recommend a final proposal for any new rate structures, fees and/or affordability measures to the City Council for approval.