Special Bulletin

2013 Rate Changes

Domestic Rates

At the upcoming Special Membership Meeting on Dec. 4th. your Board will be explaining the new domestic tiered rate structure that has been under discussion for over a year. There have been several items in recent editions of our Newsletter that laid out the reasons why the old "flat" rate structure needed to be replaced. The days of pumping water from the well into the distribution system with no need for treatment are gone. Our domestic water is now a manufactured product requiring a sophisticated processing system that was expensive to install and to operate.

Costs have risen substantially over the last year, expected sources of revenue have not materialized and there are new regulatory requirements to meet:

  • Dept. of Health Water Use Efficiency program requirement
  • Public Works Board DWSRF loan amendment condition
  • EPA-mandated installation of arsenic removal equipment
  • Expansion of storage capacity to accomodate growth
  • Replacement of aging pumps and motors
  • PUD rate increases
  • Electrical Code-driven power supply upgrades
  • Recession supressing real estate activity, new connections and water sales

  • On Tuesday evening, Nov. 20th, at its regular Board Meeting your Board examined a tiered rate structure that we felt would satisfy the following four criteria:

  • the rate structure be clear and understandable;
  • the rates be fair to all members;
  • the rates encourage water conservation; and,
  • the rate structure produces increases in revenue sufficient to recover the true costs of delivering water.

    The new rates establish a Base Charge of $55 for the first 5,000 gallons of water per household per month, and five tiers of rates based on metered usage over 5,000 gals. per month:

    TierRate (per 1000 gals/mo)Gals/Month not to exceedGals/Day not to exceed
    Tier 1$2.007,500250
    Tier 2$3.0010,000333
    Tier 3$4.0020,000667
    Tier 4$5.0030,0001000
    Tier 5$6.0040,0001333

    Infrastructure Fee Increase

    The monthly $10 per buildable lot Infrastructure Fee will increase to $15. This increase was a condition of our amended Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan repayment terms approved in October by the state Public Works Board, as reported in a recent VVWUA Newsletter.

    Effects of Domestic Rate Increases on Members

    Based on water use patterns observed in the last month, half the membership will see an increase of $15 per month or less on their domestic bill. If you use 5,000 gals. per month or less you'll see a change of only $10 in your bill. Heavy users will see potentially large increases. For example, if you use 15,000 gals. per month your bill will go up by $53.

    It will be to your advantage to conserve water. The easiest way to conserve is to avoid watering with domestic water; that's why we have irrigation water available during the growing season. Users with stock tanks can install automatic shut-off valves and still maintain an air gap to eliminate cross-connections. (See Doug Marsh or Bob Goodwin for details.) Even small leaks - toilets, faucets, hose bibs, etc. - can waste huge volumes of water if ignored.

    Irrigation Rates

    After one year of operating at a reduced rate of $145 per acre per year we are seeing an unsafe retained income level. A single pump or motor repair would wipe out all our irrigation account savings. The sole reason for the cash flow problem is the PUD rate increases that have consumed the power savings we gained from installing the VFD on the big pump. Reluctantly the Board has decided to increase the rate 10% to $160 per acre per year, effective Jan 1st 2013.

    Bob Goodwin
    Vista Vu Water Users Association

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    For further information contact: Stu Skidmore, President; Doug Marsh, Vice President;
    Bob Goodwin
    , Secretary/Treasurer; Mike Stenberg, Trustee; or, Ken Vanderstoep, Trustee.

    We welcome your comments on the website.