Wastewater Rate Study
On August 9, 2022, the City Council awarded a Professional Services Agreement to IB Consulting (IBC) to evaluate the City's existing domestic water, recycled water, and wastewater systems and recommend rates for implementation. The prior water rate study was approved in 2018, which resulted in a five-year plan with rate increases of 8% annually for Domestic water and 10% annually for Recycled water. The last water rate increase occurred on July 1, 2022. Conversely, a sewer (also known as "wastewater") rate study and comprehensive cost of service analysis has not been conducted for the wastewater system in over 20 years.
On April 5, 2023, IBC presented the results of the studies to the Public Works Commission. Preliminary analysis determined that the City's current water rates are sufficiently funding the existing domestic and recycled water systems; therefore, the decision was made not to increase water rates at this time. IBC also presented proposed sewer rate increases for all customer classes. The Commission supported moving the utility rate study forward to a public workshop to provide the public and the City Council an opportunity to review the proposed rates. A public workshop was held with the City Council on April 25, 2023.
To view that City Council Public Workshop, click here Version Options Wastewater Rate Study Headline.
Review the Wastewater Cost-of-Service Rate Study (PDF).
Sewer Rate Adjustments
The sewer rates are based upon 1.) pass-through treatment cost agreements that are set by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA), and 2.) expenses incurred by the City to operate and maintain (O&M) the wastewater collection system that transports the wastewater from the customers' properties to the IEUA treatment facilities. The proposed rates were calculated based on the Wastewater Cost-of-Service Rate Study conducted by IBC.
May 23, 2023 - City Council Discussion
July 11, 2023 - Possible Date for the Public Hearing to Consider Proposed Sewer Rate Increases
Proposition 218 Protest Process
Proposition 218 Proposition 218, (California Constitution Articles XIII C and D), which was passed by the voters in November 1996 and became an Amendment to the California Constitution, requires that the City follow certain procedures with regard to sewer rate increases.
- Proposition 218 requires that the City provide all properties receiving the service for which the fee is charged with a minimum of 45 days written notice prior to Council holding a public hearing on a proposed rate increase. The Notice states the date of the proposed Public Hearing, July 11, 2023, at 6:00 p.m., and contains the schedule of sewer rates being proposed through FY 2028.
- Proposition 218 also requires the Notices be mailed by first class mail. The property owners and tenants have the ability to "protest" the proposed rate increase until the close of the public hearing. However, only one protest vote per parcel will be accepted. If a majority of the parcels do not protest the proposed increase, the Council has the authority to implement the proposed rate increase.
The City strictly adheres to the process that was drafted by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association and approved by the voters and which is set forth in Proposition 218.
If Increases Are Adopted
If adopted, the proposed Rates will be effective on October 1, 2023, and each July 1 thereafter through 2027.
Additionally, IBC will evaluate the utility systems every year to determine if the rate increases are needed.