2016 ANNUAL WATER RATE REVIEW
The Water Works and Finance Committee members have held three readings on an ordinance that applies a 5.0% increase to all water rates that will begin on July 1, 2016 and a 5% increase that begins on July 1, 2017. The ordinance also includes a provision that, for the foreseeable future, a similar increase most likely will be implemented on an annual basis for the next ten years. However, an annual rate review will still be performed. The review will include actual revenues from the previous year to account for wet or dry years and changes to infrastructure needs. Changes to the anticipated 5% increase may still be considered, but only if significant fluctuations in Water Work reserves occur. Upon passage of the third and final reading at the May 16, 2016 council meeting, the water rate increase goes into effect on July 1 2016. The following is an outline of factors used in determining this water rate recommendation:
- Indian Hill Water Rate history
- Between 2003 – 2008, the rate changed five (5) times with annual average of 5.5%
- Between 2008 – 2014, no increases occurred due to the economic downturn
- All significant infrastructure improvements placed on hold for seven years
- Village implemented its first rate increase in 8 years on July 1, 2015 – a 5% increase
- Water rate benchmarking shows that Indian Hill’s rate is consistently in the bottom third of all other water distribution communities.
- Other communities routinely had water rate increases on a yearly basis, even during the seven years that Indian Hill did not have increases.
- The increases in other communities range from 3% to 12%, and there is no indication that such increases will cease in the future.
- Council agrees that a water rate increase is necessary:
- To continue safe and effective water distribution to customers
- To replace significantly old infrastructure in a timely fashion
- To ensure sufficient reserves which maintain integrity of the 10 year capital improvement plan and 54 year infrastructure replacement program
- To prepare for an increase in water inspection mandates
- The Committee members discussed how the rate increase should be implemented. In its review, the Committees centered on the following areas of concern:
- Being conscientious of accumulating Water Fund reserves
- Having sufficient resources to implement much needed infrastructure improvements
- Being prepared for unanticipated repairs and inspection mandates
- Ensuring enough resources to implement the long term capital improvements in a timely fashion
- Distributing the increases in an equitable manner among current and future customers
The Committees also reviewed the budgetary effects of implementing different water rate increases to determine what is needed to efficiently run the Water Works Department while evaluating how any potential increase impacts water customers. If you have any questions about this increase or about the Village’s water distribution system, please contact the Water Works Department at 513-831-3885