News Update: Needles, CA: Needles Board of Public Utilities unanimously voted to rescind Option B in water and wastewater rates, and approved 5% cost-of-living increase in water and wastewater rates.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: City of Needles (Information):

Needles, California: Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities unanimously voted to rescind Option B in water and wastewater rates, and approved 5% cost-of-living increase in water and wastewater rates.

 

The unanimously voted occurred during a short special meeting held on Friday, September 10th, 2021 inside the Needles City Council Chambers, and was broadcast live at ZachNews on Facebook.

According to the City of Needles, Resolution No.s 2020-66 and 2020-67 adopted by the Needles City Council/NPUA on October 13, 2020, provided for annual cost-of-living adjustments to the basic service charge and usage charges in both water and wastewater in order to recover annual increases in the cost of providing those services to the customer.

A cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) shall be added to all rates on October 1st of each year and shall be automatically adjusted by using the then rates plus the consumer price index (CPI) published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. West — Size Class B/C CPI based on the June value of the appropriate price index OR the last twelve (12) months actual expenses plus the CPI, whichever is lower; however, in no circumstances shall any increase exceed five percent (5%).
The attached spreadsheets are in accordance with Resolution No.s 2020-66 and 2020-67 and will set the new rates.

The Board of Public Utilities adopted rates using the last twelve (12) months actual expenses plus the CPI, however, the policy states that in no circumstances shall any increase exceed five percent (5%). However, utilizing the CPI index based on a June valuation was calculated utilizing the maximum COLA adjustment available.

Fiscal impact is an increase in water and wastewater rates to counteract current inflation rates.

The recommended action to board members was to rescind the action taken at the adjourned regular meeting of the Board of Public Utilities held on September 7, 2021 using Option B for water and wastewater rates effective October 1, 2021 as it exceed the maximum allowable increase pursuant to City Council Resolution No. 2020-66 and 2020-67; and approve a 5% cost-of-living (COLA) increase in water and wastewater rates as of October 1, 2021 and to revisit the water and wastewater rates at the first meeting in February 2022.

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities unanimously voted on the recommended action that was motioned, and with go next to members of the Needles City Council for discussion and possible action at their upcoming regular meeting being held at 6:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021.

For more information, please contact Cheryl Sallis, Secretary of the Board, at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext 115.

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