The city of California electric and water department supervisors were directed several months ago by Board of Aldermen to determine possible changes that could increase revenues to the city.
These increased revenues will be paid by the city residents.
This step to seek to bring additional money for the city has become necessary because, over at least the last dozen years, while revenue has remained steady, costs have constantly increased, sometimes drastically.
The search was to find backup data of surrounding communities of similar size and determine if some service was available which could provide reliable rate studies.
At the June meeting, the aldermen were presented with comparison information on charges for city utility services of similar sized cities in the general area. The information concerned possible ideas for increasing revenue from the electric and water departments, based on what has been done by other communities. The object was to determine possible changes which would increase revenues to the city, while not affecting every customer.
According to Mayor Norris Gerhart, the city is taking steps to cover costs that have not been taken in the past. There is a need to make changes which will increase revenues, but as far as possible, do this without affecting every customer.
The Board of Aldermen agreed on the changes, but decided to delay a vote until the residents are made aware of the coming changes. Plans are currently to later re-evaluate the efforts taken and the affect of those changes on the revenues.
Changes to be implemented on Oct. 1 are:
Increase the minimum base of $ 8.35 for first 1,000 gallons of water to $11.35. The city would still be in the bottom third of the cities in the state with that amount. This does not address the rate for additional water above the minimum of 1,000 gallons. The present rate for that is $1.78 per 1,000 gallons.
Increase tapping fee for new water taps, from the present $50 to $250, which is the actual cost for what the city presently provides.
Increase the reconnect fee for non-payment from the present $20. The new rate will be $40 during business hours, until 4:30 p.m., and $80 for payments received after 4:30 p.m.
Increase the connect/disconnect fee for non-emergencies from the present $20. The new rate will be $30 during business hours up to 4:30 p.m., and $80 for requests received for connection/disconnection after 4:30 p.m.
Add a $10 fee for accounts being transferred, either opened as a new customer, or an account being transferred to a different customer, or location or mis-charged. There is currently no charge. A customer closing an account is not affected.
Increase the bad-check fee from the current $20 to $30.
Place a $1 fee on over-the-phone payments. There is currently no charge.
To take effect Jan. 1, 2019:
Concerning residential services materials, a homeowner/developer will be required to cover the cost of materials for utilities.
Concerning new subdivisions, the developer will cover the cost of all materials for utilities.
Commercial/industrial service transformers - there will be a $0.07 per KVA for monthly rental fee.