Assistant Planner Sowers, Dave Schickling, Lorrie Lausten, Clerical Support Dew
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Minutes of the September and October meeting were approved as written. Committee Member Devlin noted he was not in attendance at the November meeting and the minutes were approved as amended.
The Orange County Water District as well as The Metropolitan Water District have increased their rates which affects all water users and water purchasers. The City of Fullerton has been doing a study for some time regarding water rates and have engaged Black and Veach to continue that study.
Chairman McNelly introduced Dave Schickling, City of Fullertons Water Systems Manager, Lorrie Lauston, City of Fullertons Associate Water Engineer and Jake Boomhower of Black and Veach.
Mr. Schickling explained that on November 16, 2004 Water Engineering went before Council with a presentation explaining the reasons for a water rate increase for the City of Fullerton. He then introduced Jake Boomhower, who would explain the presentation in detail to the Committee.
Mr. Boomhower informed the Committee that the objective of the study was to create adequate revenues, incorporate the capital improvement financing results, review the rate structure and then develop a new proposed rate. The proposal includes a 5 % rate increase for years 2005, 2006, 2007. The rate increase will then drop to 3% for years 2008 and 2009. The goal is at the end of the five years, the revenue will be replenished and the system will be restored back to the sound financial footing it needs to be on to continue operating. The City of Fullerton has been doing over 2 million dollars per year of capital improvements. The projected increase includes continuing in spending 1 to 2 million dollars per year in routine replacements, upgrades and improvements. Monies raised by the sale of Bonds as well as reserves will pay for the upgrade of the Hillcrest Reservoir.
Another recommendation from the study was to modify the tier structure in order to implement water conservation and bring water usage down. The proposed rate steps are as follows:
$1.59 for the first 7,500 gallons used each month
$1.85 for the next 12,000 gallons used each month
$2.10 per 1000 gallons used thereafter.
Finally, Mr. Boomhower stated that the presentation shows that compared to other cities and districts in Orange County, the City of Fullerton is doing quite well in conserving water.
Mr. Schickling informed the committee that Council recommended bringing this presentation before the ERMC and ask for any recommendations on the report. On February 15, 2005 there will be a public hearing and it is the hope that at that time the proposal will be adopted with recommendations and any public input that the Water Engineering Department receives.
Committee Member Hardwick proposed that the ERMC Committee votes in favor of the proposed increase in water rates and send a letter to Council stating the results of the vote. The vote was 5 in favor and 2 opposed. It was encouraged that each member write an individual letter to Council with their own opinions of the proposal made by Black and Veach.
Chairman McNelly recommended that item No. 5 on the agenda, The Green Pages, be discussed at the January 19, 2005 meeting. Associate Planner Sowers pointed out that postponing the discussion of the publication would push back the goal date and the goal of publishing Volume 2 of the Green Pages in January could not be met.
COMMITTEE MEMBER COMMENTS
There were no Committee Member comments.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 a.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be on January 19, 2005.