by Paul Helliker
The Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors voted unanimously on December 16, 2009 to issue a notice to customers of a proposed water rate increase of 9.8 percent. If the rate increase goes through, the average monthly cost increase for single-family residential customers is $4.07, or $8.14 per two-month billing cycle, raising the average bimonthly bill from $83.36 to $91.50.
MMWD’s water supply costs increased in 2009 and will increase more in 2010, due in part to the increased cost of water from Sonoma County Water Agency. Declining revenues also play a role in MMWD’s current financial picture. MMWD had planned for a 5-percent reduction in water use due to conservation in the current fiscal year, but use dropped 8.5 percent instead, resulting in inadequate revenue to cover operating expenses. MMWD cut operating expenses by $5.3 million in 2009-10 and will eliminate at least $2 million in 2010-11. Essential water treatment and delivery needs like electricity and chemicals have continued to increase in cost; funding is needed for these three new water supply projects to increase water supply reliability during droughts: Shafter Bridge pipeline, Alpine Lake pump replacement and Corte Madera pump station.
MMWD will hold a public hearing on the proposed rate increase on Wednesday, February 24, 2010. If the proposal passes, the new rates would go into effect for water used beginning March 1 and meter readings taken on or after May 1, 2010.
For more information, visit the following link: http://www.marinwater.org/documents/Rate_Increase_Mailing_Notice_Dec_2009.pdf