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PCWA Water rates may be on the rise. On Thursday (May 16) Placer County Water Agency staff presented the Board of Directors with recommendations for an adjustment to its Zone 1 water rates. This adjustment would be spread over 2 years beginning January 2014. The Board set a public hearing for August 8 to consider the proposed new rates. This would be the first rate adjustment considered by the Board in 5 years.
PCWA’s Zone 1 serves a vast area including the cities of Auburn, Loomis, Rocklin, Lincoln, a portion of Roseville, and many unincorporated communities in western Placer County.
PCWA Says the primary need for the proposed water rate adjustment is an increase in the wholesale price PCWA pays for Zone 1 water. PCWA purchases water from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The price has been unchanged since 1968.
The increase in wholesale water price resulted from several months of negotiations between PCWA and PG&E on a successor to the 45-year old Zone 1 water contract.
PCWA General Manager David Breninger said, “The new PG&E contract covers water supplies that have historically been used by the people of Placer County for upwards of 150 years and is essential for the future of our County. We are doing everything we can to ensure continuance of a high quality, affordable and reliable water supply for our customers.”
A secondary need for the proposed water rate adjustment is to fund other general operating costs for Zone 1.
Breninger stated “The proposed new water rates will help improve the safety and reliability of both the wholesale and retail water conveyance systems that Zone 1 customers depend upon for delivery of their water supply,”
If the rate hike is passed by the board a forecasted increased could start in 2014, the average winter residential treated water bill would increase by $4.15 per month. The average summer residential bill would increase by $5.85 per month. In 2015 there will be an additional $1.78 per month in the winter and $2.50 per month in the summer.
Notices of the hearing with information on the proposed new water rates will be mailed to all affected Zone 1 property owners and customers. PCWA follows the Proposition 218 notification and hearing process.