Yucaipa Valley Water District will hold community meetings for new rate structure and proposed infrastructure improvements.

Yucaipa Valley Water District is considering new rates for drinking water, sewer, and recycled water service beginning on Feb. 1. A public hearing has been scheduled to consider the proposed rate changes at the regular board meeting scheduled on Jan. 21, at 6 p.m.

In December, YVWD mailed a notice to customers outlining the proposed increases and the reasons behind them. To provide additional information in advance of the public hearing, the water district will conduct two community meetings to explain the changes, answer questions, and discuss upcoming infrastructure projects.

The first community meeting will be held on Monday, Jan. 13, at the Yucaipa Valley Regional Water Filtration Facility, located at 35477 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa at 6 p.m. The second community meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at the Norton Younglove Senior Center located at 908 Park Avenue, Calimesa at 6 p.m.

“We felt it was important to hold these community meetings to explain the need for rate changes and answer questions the public might have about (the) district and the need to focus on our aging infrastructure,” General Manager Joe Zoba said.

The proposed changes to rates and the overall rate structure are based on an extensive cost-of-service analysis that details the revenue required to maintain current service levels and fund needed maintenance and upgrades to the district’s aging water and sewer infrastructure.

If approved, the new rates would take effect Feb. 1, followed by future adjustments in 2021 through 2025.

The cost-of-service study detailed numerous reasons for a water rate increase, including the higher cost of maintenance, water/sewer treatment, and declining revenue. The proposed rate structure also implements a method to fund capital projects and infrastructure replacement based on water use.

If the new drinking water rates are approved, the monthly bill for a typical single-family home using 12 units of water, or about 12,000 gallons, would increase by $1.60 beginning Feb. 1.

The sewer service charge, which covers maintenance, repair and replacement of pipes and equipment, laboratory testing, regulatory compliance, customer billing, debt payments and salaries, would increase by $1.05 per month beginning Feb. 1.

Increases for recycled water service are also proposed, and new charges would be established for excessive use and capital replacement. The monthly recycled water bill for a customer using 5 units of recycled water (5,000 gallons) would increase by $2.51. For larger irrigation customers with a 3-inch meter and using 50 units of recycled water (50,000 gallons) would increase by $25 beginning Feb. 1.

“This is an important step that will help us continue to meet service expectations and maintain our local infrastructure,” Zoba said. “The district is committed to protecting our high-quality water resources and the public’s investment in the drinking water, sewer and recycled water systems in Yucaipa and Calimesa.”

Additional information about water, sewer and recycled water rates is available on the district’s website at www.yvwd.dst.ca.us.


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