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NOTICE TO PROPERTY OWNERS OF PUBLIC HEARING REGARDING PROPOSEDWATER AND SEWER RATES

Hearing Date & Time: November 3, 2021, at 6:30 p.m.

Hearing Location: City Council Chambers, 248 Main Street, Soledad, CA 93960

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Soledad is providing options to attend meetings virtually. In addition to the physical location for the Public to attend, meetings can be accessed via Zoom or call-in.

To join using Zoom please use the following meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87033398745. Members of the public may also provide public comment via phone during the meeting by calling 1-669-900-6833 and entering Meeting ID 870 3339 8745. Written comments can also be submitted via email to darlene.noriega@cityofsoledad.com prior to the meeting start time of 6:30 PM, and will be read by the City Clerk during the meeting, during the appropriate agenda item, subject to the customary time limit.

Why are you receiving this notice?

The City of Soledad (City) is mailing this notice to you because you are a water and/or sewer customer or are the owner of record of a property that receives water or sewer service. This notice describes proposed changes to the water and sewer rates and gives information about a public hearing to be held on November 3, 2021, at City Hall, 248 Main Street, Soledad, CA 93960 regarding these proposed changes.

What do water and sewer rates fund?

The City provides water and sewer service to approximately 4,000 customers. Water and sewer rates charged to system users (customers) on a monthly basis are the primary source of revenue that the City utilizes to operate the water and sewer systems and are used solely for this purpose. Rate revenue provides funding for annual operating and maintenance costs, including water and sewer treatment, routine repair and replacement of system components, capital projects to improve water and sewer infrastructure, debt service obligations, adequate fund reserves and planning for contingencies.

The proposed rates are based on a comprehensive utility rate study and financial plan developed by an independent consultant. The City will annually review revenues and expenditures for the water and sewer funds to ensure that sufficient and appropriate revenues are collected to provide for the short and long-term service needs of the community.

Why are rate increases needed?

To develop water and sewer rates that will generate sufficient revenue to meet fiscal and policy objectives of the City, a determination of the annual revenue required from rates was completed. This analysis resulted in the identification of revenue requirements for the water and sewer utilities, including operating and maintenance expenses, capital expenses such as replacement of water and sewer lines, debt repayment costs (including required debt service coverage) and funding of reserves at appropriate levels to smooth out cash flow timing and provide for unexpected costs.

These revenue requirements were then compared to the total sources of funds during each year of the forecast period (Fiscal Years 2022 to 2026) to determine the adequacy of projected revenues under current rates to meet those requirements. The study results demonstrated that revenue over the next five years from the City’s current water and sewer rates will not fully provide for the costs identified above, and as a result, a series of rate revenue increases were calculated, which if implemented, will provide revenue sufficient to meet those needs. The rate study report providing the rate development methodology is available at City Hall.

Proposed rates have been calculated based on the City’s cost to provide water and sewer service to users. For the water utility, projected expenses are allocated between a monthly Base (fixed) Charge and Volume Charges for Single-Family, Multi-Family, Commercial, Public and School customers. The monthly Base Charge for each customer is based on the size of their meter and recovers fixed costs of providing water service, with costs allocated based on the number of accounts and the size of the water meter. The Volume Charge for each customer is based on the amount of water used and recovers the variable costs of providing water service and costs associated with the delivery of water. The amount of residential water used is billed in three tiers, with the cost increasing in each succussive tier based on the increased cost of providing water at peak usage. Actual water use for all other classes of customers is billed at a uniform rate based on the volume of water used.

For the sewer utility, projected system expenses are allocated among monthly rates for different types of customers in the City of Soledad, based on the relative strength and flow characteristics of the sewer flow collected from each specific customer category, so that the sewer rates reflect each customers’ proportionate cost of collecting, conveying, and treating wastewater.

The rate structures for each utility were designed so that revenues derived from the proposed rate changes do not exceed the amount of revenue required for the property-related services provided by the City, nor will the revenue from the rates and charges referenced herein be used for any purpose other than that for which the corresponding rates are imposed. The amount of the proposed rates imposed on any parcel or person as an incident of property ownership will not exceed the proportional cost of the service(s) attributable to such parcel; and no rate will be imposed for a service unless that service is actually used by, or available to, the property owner or customer in question.

New rates

In order to provide funding for the water and sewer systems, the City is proposing to implement new rates as a series of annual adjustments starting on December 1, 2021, with additional increases following each July 1, until July 2025. The following tables summarize the proposed water and sewer rates. The Fixed and Volume charges will go into effect and remain in effect until superseded by Council action. Please note; the term CCF used below means 100 cubic feet of water, or 748 gallons.

Proposed Water Rates

Fiscal Years 2021-22 through FY 2025-26

Monthly Base Charge

Meter Size

Existing

21-22 (1)

22-23 (2)

23-24 (2)

24-25 (2)

25-26 (2)

5/8-inch

$13.55

$13.55

$14.85

$16.93

$18.28

$18.83

3/4-inch

18.48

19.45

22.17

25.28

27.30

28.12

1-inch

28.35

32.42

36.96

42.13

45.50

46.87

1 ½-inch

53.02

64.84

73.91

84.26

91.00

93.73

2-inch

82.62

103.74

118.26

134.82

145.60

149.97

3-inch

151.69

207.47

236.52

269.63

291.20

299.94

4-inch

250.36

389.01

443.47

505.56

546.01

562.39

6-inch

497.05

648.35

739.12

842.60

910.01

937.31

Volume Rate ($/100 CF)

Usage Range

Existing

21-22 (1)

22-23 (2)

23-24 (2)

24-25 (2)

25-26 (2)

Single Family

0-9 CCF

$1.48

$1.48

$1.48

$1.48

$1.65

$1.65

10 to 23 CCF

1.82

2.21

2.52

2.87

3.19

3.29

> 23 CCF

3.81

3.81

3.93

4.48

4.84

4.98

Multifamily

> 0 CCF

$1.77

$1.77

$1.94

$2.21

$2.39

$2.46

Commercial

> 0 CCF

$1.70

$1.96

$2.23

$2.55

$2.75

$2.83

Public

> 0 CCF

$1.83

$2.36

$2.69

$3.07

$3.31

$3.41

School

> 0 CCF

$1.96

$2.43

$2.77

$3.15

$3.40

$3.51

  1. Effective December 1

  2. Effective July 1

Proposed Sewer Rates

Fiscal Years 2021 through FY 2025-26

Class

Existing Rates

21-22 (1)

Rates

22-23 (2)

Rates

23-24 (2)

Rates

24-25 (2)

Rates

25-26 (2)

Rates

Single-Family

$46.60

$52.19

$56.37

$60.88

$65.75

$71.01

Multifamily Duplexes

33.38

37.39

40.38

43.61

47.10

50.86

Mobile Home Units

21.27

23.82

25.73

27.79

30.01

32.41

Small Office – Commercial

45.45

50.90

54.98

59.37

64.12

69.25

General Office – Commercial

114.96

128.76

139.06

150.18

162.19

175.17

Large Commercial

424.96

475.96

514.03

555.15

599.57

647.53

Gas Station – Commercial

44.79

50.16

54.18

58.51

63.19

68.25

Car Wash – Low User

83.07

93.04

100.48

108.52

117.20

126.58

Car Wash – High User

1,102.95

1,235.50

1,334.13

1,440.86

1,556.13

1,680.62

Restaurants/Bars

276.64

309.84

334.62

361.39

390.31

421.53

Restaurant – High Volume

969.83

1,086.21

1,173.11

1,266.95

1,368.31

1,477.78

Laundromat – Low User

134.09

150.18

162.20

175.17

189.18

204.32

Laundromat – High User

525.28

588.31

635.38

686.21

741.11

800.39

Churches/Public Facilities

68.52

76.74

82.88

89.51

96.67

104.41

Medical Offices

67.27

75.34

81.37

87.88

94.91

102.50

Dental & Veterinarian

49.34

55.26

59.68

64.46

69.61

75.18

Bank

27.50

30.80

33.26

35.93

38.80

41.90

Supermarkets

258.24

289.23

312.37

337.36

364.34

393.49

Bakery

157.52

176.42

190.54

205.70

222.24

240.02

Beauty/Barber Shops

4.93

5.52

5.96

6.44

6.96

7.51

Post Office

4.97

5.57

6.01

6.49

7.01

7.57

Hotel/Motel (per room)

9.43

10.56

11.41

12.32

13.30

14.37

Convalescent Home (per unit)

35.28

39.51

42.67

46.09

49.78

53.76

Movie Theater

240.66

269.54

291.10

314.39

339.54

366.71

Pinnacles High School (student/year)

33.76

37.81

40.84

44.10

47.63

51.44

Frank Ledesma Elementary (student/year)

16.88

18.91

20.42

22.05

23.82

25.72

Gabilan Elementary (student/year)

16.88

18.91

20.42

22.05

23.82

25.72

Jack Francioni Elementary (student/year)

16.88

18.91

20.42

22.05

23.82

25.72

Main Street Middle School (student/year)

25.32

28.36

30.63

33.08

35.72

38.58

Main Street Preschool (student/year)

16.88

18.91

20.42

22.05

23.82

25.72

Rose Ferrero Elementary (student/year)

16.88

18.91

20.42

22.05

23.82

25.72

San Vicente Elementary (student/year

16.88

18.91

20.42

22.05

23.82

25.72

Soledad High School (student/year)

33.76

37.81

40.84

44.10

47.63

51.44

San Vicente Preschool (student/year)

16.88

18.91

20.42

22.05

23.82

25.72

Golden State Vintners (flow/mil. gallons)

5,244.87

5,874.25

6,344.19

6,851.73

7,399.87

7,991.86

Golden State Vintners (BOD/k pounds)

465.25

521.08

562.77

607.79

656.41

708.92

Golden State Vintners (TSS/k pounds)

491.81

550.83

594.89

642.48

693.88

749.39

Septage Rate

n/a

4.99

5.39

5.82

6.29

6.79

  1. Effective December 1

  2. Effective July 1

Impact on your bill

With the proposed rates effective December 1, 2021, for a typical single-family home that uses 13 units of water (1 unit equals 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons) a month, the water portion of your bill would increase from $34.15 per month currently to $35.70 per month, or approximately $1.15 more per month. The sewer portion of the bill would increase from

$46.60 to $52.19 per month. The accompanying graph provides a summary of combined bills, existing and proposed, for water and sewer under three usage scenarios. Please note; the term CCF means 100 cubic feet of water, or 748 gallons.

The City will consider the new rate structure and proposed revenue increase at a public hearing on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 248 Main Street, Soledad, CA 93960. Members of the public can view the meeting on Zoom using the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87033398745, and can also provide public comment during the meeting by calling 1-669-900-6833 and entering Meeting ID 870 3339 8745. The phone line will open just prior to the start of the meeting at 6:30 PM. You are invited to present oral or written testimony at the public hearing, or via the virtual meeting. Written comments can also be submitted via email to darlene.noriega@cityofsoledad.com prior to the Council meeting start time of 6:30 PM and will be read by the City Clerk during the meeting during the appropriate agenda item, subject to posted time limits for comments.

Any owner or customer of record of a parcel subject to the proposed rates may submit a written protest against the proposed rate revisions. If written protests are filed for a majority of the affected parcels, the proposed rate revisions will not be adopted. In order for a written protest to be counted it must include the following: a statement indicating that the identified property owner or customer of record is in opposition to the proposed rate changes; the street address or Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) for the parcel(s) with respect to which the protest is made; the name and signature of the owner or customer, and the date of the written protest.

Written protests may be mailed, or hand delivered to 248 Main Street, Soledad, CA 93960, or delivered to the City Clerk at the Public Hearing. To be valid, a signed and dated written protest must be received by the City Clerk before the conclusion of the Public Hearing. Any protest submitted via e-mail or other electronic means will not be accepted. Please identify on the front of the envelope for any written protest, whether mailed or submitted in person to the City Clerk, that the enclosed protest is for the Public Hearing on the Proposed Rate Changes – Water and Sewer Service Fees.

The City Council will hear and consider all written and oral protests to the proposed rate changes at the Public Hearing. Oral comments at the Public Hearing will not qualify as formal protests unless accompanied by a written protest. Upon the conclusion of the Public Hearing, there will be no more written protests accepted and no more testimony taken, and the City Council will consider adoption of the proposed rates for water and sewer service described in this notice. If written protests as outlined above, are not presented by a majority of property owners or customers of record, the City Council will be authorized to implement the proposed rates. If adopted, the rates for water and sewer service will be in effect beginning December 1, 2021.

 

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