Community Input Helps Shape City of Hillsboro’s 2019 Water Rates
The City of Hillsboro Utilities Commission has approved separate water rate increases for each customer class for 2019.
Post Date:12/11/2018 2:34 pm
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 2019.
The Utilities Commission’s approval includes changes to proposed water rates for three customer classes: Multi-Family Residential, Commercial, and Public Entities. Instead of the 19.1 percent proposed increase, rates for these customer classes will be phased in over the next two years at 14.7 percent each year. This decision by the Utilities Commission comes after receiving input from Hillsboro community members during the rate setting process.
Water rate adjustment amounts were approved without changes for Single-Family Residential, Nonprofit, Industrial, and Irrigation customers, as well as the cities of Cornelius and Gaston, and the LA Water Co-Op (wholesale customers).
Hillsboro Water Department
Water Rate Increase
Water Rate Increase
City of Cornelius
City of Gaston & LA Water Co-Op
A Water Rate Study conducted in 2018 recommended water rate increases across all customer classes each year for the next five years. Rate increases would primarily fund investments in the Willamette Water Supply System (WWSS), repairs and upgrades to the Joint Water Commission Water Treatment Plant and the Hillsboro system, and increased regulatory compliance costs. The proposed 2019 water rate adjustments varied by customer class in order to ensure each class is paying their fair share based on how customers use the City’s water system and how much water they use.
All water rate adjustments will go into effect on February 1, 2019. The water rate changes 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 managed by the City of Hillsboro and Clean Water Services.
For more than 80 percent of 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 $1.61, (five percent), from $32.74 to $34.34, for example. However, the increase on the water portion of a customer’s Utility Bill may vary based on meter size and individual usage patterns.
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 a water rate public hearing in November 2018.
The City’s rates will remain among the lowest in the Portland metro region, said Kevin Hanway, Director of the City of Hillsboro Water Department.
“The Hillsboro Water Department is committed to protecting public health, providing clean, high-quality water, and maintaining affordability of water service for all customers,” Hanway said. “The Water Department has been delivering reliable water service for more than 75 years, thanks to more than 300 miles of water pipe, secure and well-managed water sources, and a dedicated workforce responsive to customers’ needs around the clock.”
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.