2022 Rate Increase

 

 

Billing Structure Changes

Below you will find 2021 billing rates compared to the 2022 rates effective January 1, 2022.



Ready to Serve Charge:   The ready-to-serve charge has been lowered to $17.37 per service and will be applied to every bill regardless of usage or whether the meter is on or off.

Unit Charge:  The per unit charge will increase to $1.85 per unit (a unit of water is 748 gallons).

Infrastructure Fee: A new charge of $17.00 per service to be charged whether the meter is on or off.

Tax: The same 22% tax from the City of Yakima is still in effect if you live within the city limits.

Year-Round Billing:   The billing of the infrastructure fee and ready-to-serve charge will continue even when a meter is turned off.

 

Increased Rates

The new ready-to-serve charge and per unit rate will increase revenue to keep up with rising operating costs.
The infrastructure fee has been added to create a new budget line item for infrastructure replacement.  These funds will be used to replace any aging infrastructure, such as mainlines, meters, service lines, reservoirs, or any other infrastructure replacement. This new $17 fee will be tracked separately from our operating budget and will only be used to support infrastructure replacement. With the new funding, we are expecting to replace over 8,000 feet of pipe per year on average, which equates to .87% of the entire system. Our goal is to be at 1% of pipe replacement per year, at some time in the future.

 

Late Fees

Beginning April 1, 2022, if your payment is not received in our office within 30 days of the bill date, your account will be charged a $10 late fee and you will be mailed a Past Due notice giving you an additional ten days to pay. If the payment is not received in our office by the tenth day as noted on the Past Due statement, there will be an additional $20 delinquent fee and the water will be disconnected the following day.

 

Meter Relinquishment

If you have a meter on your property that is not being used and do not want to start receiving bills, you may relinquish the meter and membership back to the Association by completing the release at the bottom of this page. Forms are also available in our office. Once you have completed the form and returned it to our office, we will remove the meter from your property. However, if you wish to reconnect to the Association’s system in the future, you will need to pay all water connection and meter charges, applicable at that time.     



FAQS

Why is there now an infrastructure fee?
We are introducing the new infrastructure fee in order to fund more infrastructure replacement. This will go towards replacing critical infrastructures such as mainlines, well equipment, meters, and service lines.

Has there been any replacement of old infrastructure?
Yes.  In 2019, the Association replaced an aging reservoir using a $4 million low-interest loan from the Department of Health Drinking Water Revolving Fund. It is now time to start planning for the replacement of the next oldest reservoir in our system.

The Association has been replacing about 125 service lines between the meter and the mainline per year for the past four years, based on a new listening program to help find underground leaks.  This program is the key reason our unaccounted-for water dropped from 22.5% in 2017 to 10.3% in 2020. It is our goal that in 2021, our unaccounted-for water will be below 10%.

The Association has also replaced an average of 2800 feet of pipe per year between 2010 and 2020, which is approximately .31% of the entire system. In 2020, the Association replaced 5600 feet of pipe, the biggest year of pipe replacement ever. Between the pipe replacement and the service line replacement, the Association spent over $800,000 in infrastructure replacement in 2020. As the infrastructure continues to age, the Association will need to increase pipe replacement in the system.

It became apparent that current rates can not sustain this level of infrastructure replacement, so the Board of Trustees enacted the infrastructure fee to be used to replace aging infrastructure.  Outdated and old infrastructure is becoming a significant problem all across the United States.  However, we are working to stay ahead of this issue so you can continue to have a reliable supply of safe drinking water.

For more information on America’s drinking water infrastructure, please read the most recent report published by the American Society of Civil Engineers https://infrastructurereportcard.org/cat-item/drinking-water/.

How much mainline will be replaced now?
On average, it is anticipated that we will be able to replace about 8,000 feet of water mainline per year. That is approximately .87% of the entire system.  

How will we know how the funds were used?
The Association has an annual audit in March, currently completed by the accounting firm of Alegria + Company, and they will review and report on the use of the infrastructure fees. This report will be sent in a newsletter to our customers and posted on the Association’s web page.  

What happens if there are excess funds at the end of the year?
Any unused funds at the end of the year will stay in the infrastructure account to be used at some point in the future.

Why will I be billed even when my meter is off?
Even if your meter is turned off, the meter is still readily available to provide water, there is continuous fire protection from the nearby fire hydrants, and there is a fixed cost in order to keep the infrastructure in adequate condition to serve that meter.

Will I still be charged a late fee if I miss a payment and my meter is off?
Yes, late fees will continue to accrue on the account even when the meter is turned off. Please contact the office if you need to set up a repayment plan.

What if I forget to pay my bill?
Beginning in April 2022, if your payment is not received in our office within 30 days of the bill date, your account will be charged a $10 late fee and you will be mailed a Past Due notice giving you an additional ten days to pay.  If the payment is not received in our office by the tenth day, as stated on the Past Due notice, there will be an additional $20 delinquent fee and the water will be disconnected the following day.

Can I call to have my meter turned off to stop my sewer and garbage bill from the City of Yakima?
You may still call us to turn your meter off and we will notify the City of Yakima. However, we do not control the billing for sewer and garbage and can not guarantee their billing practices.

If you bill while the meter is off, is there still a reconnection fee?
Yes, there will still be a $20 reconnection fee.

Why is there now a $10 late fee for a past due notice?
There is now a $10 fee when you receive your Past Due notice because you have exceeded the due date. There is also staff time, postage and materials involved in sending those notices.



Below is the form to relinquish any unwanted meters. The form is also available at our office.
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