Last night, Wheaton’s City Council listened to a presentation summarizing the results of a study analyzing the City’s current water rate structure and the costs associated with providing water service to Wheaton customers. According to the study, the City’s current water rates will not produce adequate revenues to cover the costs of operating and maintaining the water system starting in Fiscal Year 2013.
Municipal & Financial Services Group, the firm that performed the study, made the following recommendations based on their findings:
The City should increase revenues from water rates over the next three years to allow revenues to catch up with water system operating and maintenance expenses and to fund the full cost of operating and maintaining the water system. These increases should be in conjunction with the DuPage Water Commission increases for a total revenue increase of:
- 30% on Jan. 1, 2013 (20% DuPage Water Commission increase + 10% City increase)
- 25% on Jan. 1, 2014, (18% DuPage Water Commission increase + 7% City increase) and
- 20% on Jan. 1, 2015 (17% DuPage Water Commission increase + 3% City increase)
The City should adopt an alternative water rate structure that will increase the revenue stability within the Water Fund by collecting more revenue from the fixed portion of the water bill, eventually collecting 25% of revenues through the fixed charge by Fiscal Year 2015. The fixed charge should be based on meter size.
The City should strive to maintain a minimum unrestricted net asset balance within the Water Fund equal to 30% of the operating expenses.
A video of the presentation and Council discussion is available on the City’s website. The Water Rate Study Report document and the Water Rate Study City Council Briefing (which is the Powerpoint presentation displayed at the meeting) are also available on the City’s website.
Information courtesy of the City of Wheaton.