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Hillsboro’s 2020 Water Rates Approved with an Eye Toward Increasing Equity and Improving Affordability

Post Date:11/14/2019

With an eye on protecting public health, continuing the delivery of essential water services, and meeting the community’s future water supply needs, the City of Hillsboro Utilities Commission has approved separate water rate increases for each customer class for calendar year 2020.

Hillsboro Water Customer Class

*Approved 2020 Water Rate
Percentage Increase

Single-Family Residential

4.9%

Multi-Family Residential

11.1%

Commercial

12.9%

Industrial

10.5%

Irrigation

20%

Public Entities

14.7%

Nonprofit

10.4%

Private and Public Fire Protection

11.3%

City of Cornelius (wholesale)

9.2%

City of Gaston (wholesale)

2.6%

LA Water Co-Op (wholesale)

2.6%

Bulk Water

12.9%

 

* The actual percentage increase on the water portion of a customer’s City of Hillsboro utility bill may vary based on meter size and individual usage patterns. 

On January 1, 2020, the water rate adjustments will be applied specifically to the water portion of the City of Hillsboro utility bill, not the sanitary sewer, surface water, or transportation utility fees. Based on public input, the Utilities Commission also initiated and approved rate structure changes that increase equity and improve affordability between and within the rate classes.  

“The City’s rates will remain among the lowest in the Portland metro region,” said Niki Iverson, Director of the City of Hillsboro Water Department. 

“The Hillsboro Water Department is committed to protecting public health and supplying customers with safe and reliable drinking water,” Iverson said. “Hillsboro Water carefully manages drinking water rates, and strives to ensure equity and affordability for all customers. Water rates are designed so all customers pay their fair share based on how they use Hillsboro’s water system and how much water they use.” 

For more than 80 percent of Hillsboro Water single-family residential customers, water usage is 6,000 gallons per month (equivalent to 800 cubic feet) or less. With the approved rate change, the water portion of the monthly City of Hillsboro Utility Bill for a typical single-family residential customer will increase $1.68, (4.9%), from $34.34 to $36.02. 

The process to adjust water rates comes after extensive public outreach where community members were offered numerous opportunities to provide input, discuss rates and affordability, and seek ideas and solutions for managing costs, including an informational session and water rate public hearing in October 2019. 

Customers will see more information about their 2020 water rates in their utility bills, and on Hillsboro Water’s website over the next few months.  

Water rates for Hillsboro Water Department’s service area are established and approved on an annual basis by the Utilities Commission. Their decision occurs after an extensive review of the revenue requirements and costs underlying any rate proposal, as well as consideration of all public feedback received through the comment period. 

Community members are invited year round to ask questions and provide feedback on water rates. For more information, call 503-615-6702 or visit Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/WaterRates.

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