News Update!!: Needles, CA: Community meeting was held discussing proposed water and wastewater rate increases.

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News Update!!: Needles, CA: Community meeting was held discussing proposed water and wastewater rate increases.

A community meetings to discuss the proposed water and wastewater rate increases was held on Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 inside the Needles City Council Chambers in Needles, California.

ZachNews was at the community meeting as a small group of people attended to learn more about the proposed water and wastewater rate increases and ask questions.

Several community meetings have been held on different days to help information local residents and businesses about the proposed water and wastewater rate increases which is set to increase by Sunday, May 1st, 2016 and these community meetings are required by law to protect the tax payers for the Proposition 218 process.

During the community meeting, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels spoke about the proposed water and wastewater rate increases, the reasons for the rate increases, the various legislation to limit how municipalities can apply fees and taxes to customers, how other communities rates compare to our community rates, what regulations the City of Needles must adhere to and the cost of compliance, and what’s the state of the water and wastewater system.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels showed the group the 5 year actual expenditure and 5 year audited cash flow deficit.

** 5 Year Actual Expenditure: **

In 2011, Water was $1,030,777.00 and Wastewater was $813,429.00.

In 2012, Water was $1,124,073.00 and Wastewater was $764,923.00.

In 2013, Water was $1,559,633.00 and Wastewater was $939,850.00. This includes Well #10 Failed and Well #15 Construction Began.

In 2014, Water was $1,160,075.00 and Wastewater was $921,391.00.

In 2015, Water was $1,075,125.00 and Wastewater was $915,516.00.

** 5 Year Audited Cash Flow Deficit: **

On 6/30/2011, Water Deficit was $496,079.00 and Wastewater Deficit was $620,590.00.

On 6/30/2012, Water Deficit was $575,076.00 and Wastewater Deficit was $546,592.00.

On 6/30/2013, Water Deficit was $571,927.00 and Wastewater Deficit was $626,661.00.

On 6/30/2014, Water Deficit was $597,764.00 and Wastewater Deficit was $540,762.00.

On 6/30/2015, Water Deficit was $626,526.00 and Wastewater Deficit was $703,446.00.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels showed the group the water and wastewater rates for the City of Needles and compare those rates to other communities around San Bernardino County, California.

** Water Rates – San Bernardino County: **

City of Needles
Needles, California
Effective Date: 11/1/2014
Billing Frequency: Monthly
Fixed Charge: $38.49
Commodity Charge: $7.50
Total Charge: $45.99
Rate Format: Uniform
Service Population: 3,600
Current Avg. Res. Usage: 13
Res. Connection Fee: $1,270.00

Running Springs Water District
Running Springs, California
Effective Date: 7/1/2014
Billing Frequency: Monthly
Fixed Charge: $27.14
Commodity Charge: $60.90
Total Charge: $88.04
Rate Format: Uniform
Service Population: 4,862
Current Avg. Res. Usage: 8
Res. Connection Fee: $5,382.00

Cucamonga Valley Water District
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Effective Date: 4/27/2010
Billing Frequency: Bi-Monthly
Fixed Charge: $14.19
Commodity Charge: $26.00
Total Charge: $40.19
Rate Format: Uniform
Service Population: 186,000
Current Avg. Res. Usage: 42
Res. Connection Fee: $9,116.00

** Wastewater Rates – San Bernardino County: **

City of Needles
Needles, California
Effective Date: 11/01/2014
Billing Frequency: Monthly
Fixed Charge: $39.24
Commodity Charge:
Total Charge: $39.24
Rate Format:
Service Population: 3,600
Res. Connection Fee: $1,570.00

Running Springs Water District
Running Springs, California
Effective Date: 7/1/2014
Billing Frequency: Monthly
Fixed Charge: $36.32
Commodity Charge: $6.09
Total Charge: $62.41
Rate Format:
Service Population: 4,862
Res. Connection Fee: $5,646.00

Lake Arrowhead Community Service District
Lake Arrowhead, California
Effective Date: 1/02/2015
Billing Frequency: Monthly
Fixed Charge: $48.28
Commodity Charge:
Total Charge: $48.28
Rate Format:
Service Population: 15,000
Res. Connection Fee: $9,033.00

**** Information provided by the City of Needles in presentation. ****

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels then talked about the rates.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels recently told ZachNews that the typical single family home electric rates are going to decrease $25.81 per month while water is going to increase $18.50 per month and wastewater is going to increase $1.87 per month for a net savings of $5.44 per month for the typical single family customer.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels added that the Needles Utility Board further reduced the electric rates for the typical single family home by approximately $57.77/month for the next 3 to 4 months.

During the community meeting, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels explained how water and wastewater rate revenues are used for water and wastewater purposes, such as paying off debt, operating, and capital replacement, and showed a list of necessary capital improvements that are needing to be done around the community, but those capital improvements are delayed because there’s not enough money to do them at this moment.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels recently told ZachNews that the majority of the water and sewer facilities and pipes were placed in operation in the 1950’s with a life expectancy of 50 years.

Currently, those water and sewer facilities have been used for 66 years now and are rapidly deteriorating requiring costly repairs.

According to Needles City Manager Rick Daniels, during 2016, at least 200 breaks in the water and sewer pipes are expected and nearly 180 occurred in 2015; that’s nearly 1 for every work day.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that an Asset Replacement Funds of at least $400,000 per year is needed

The goal is to pay debts – City of Needles, United States Department of Agriculture Loan and Bonds for purchase of utility, maintain system for regulatory compliances, and funds replacement of worn out infrastructure today and upcoming replacement over the next 10 years.

At the end, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels was ask to talk about the drinking water in the community and what is tested to make sure if the water is safe to drink.

Another community meeting will be held at 5:00pm PT on Thursday, February 25th, 2016 inside the Needles City Council Chambers located off the J Street, next to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station sign and flag pole, at the Needles Civic Center located at 1111 Bailey Avenue in Needles, California.

Parking is located around the Needles Civic Center just off of J Street near the Needles Recreation Center or just off of Bailey Avenue near the San Bernardino County Needles Branch Library building.

If you have any questions or concerns, please either come to the community meeting or talk with Needles City Manager Rick Daniels either by phone at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 313 or by coming in to the Needles Administration Office (Needles City Hall) located at 817 Third Street, between E Street and F Street, in Downtown Needles, California.

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