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Share Your Input on Hillsboro’s Proposed 2020 Drinking Water Rates

Post Date:08/14/2019

The City of Hillsboro Water Department 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.

Proposed 2020 Water Rate Increases
The Hillsboro Water Department used water rate modeling software to forecast the below proposed 2020 water rate adjustments – separate for each customer class.

Please note: 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.

  • 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%

* Single-Family Residential Customers: For example, the drinking water portion of the utility bill for a typical single-family residential customer using approximately 6,000 gallons of water per month would increase by $1.68, from $34.34 to $36.02.

** Multi-Family Residential Customers:

  • Duplexes and triplexes served by a single meter will be moved to the single-family residential customer classification to help moderate rate increases for these customers.
  • The multi-family residential customer water volume charge will be split into a Winter Volume and Usage over Winter Volume Charge, similar to other rate classifications, to provide customers with more control over the water portion of their utility bill.
  • For more information, access the Water Rate FAQs.

***Commercial Customers:

  • The bulk water rate is now tied to the Commercial rate.

**** Industrial Customers:

  • A Large Industrial schedule will be added to this classification with rates and volume charges for 6”, 8” and 10” meters where the total water usage at a single site is at least four million gallons per day, to increase the portion of revenue derived from base charges.
How to Share Input on Proposed Rates
Community members are invited to provide input from August 14 to September 30, 2019: 

Informational Session & Water Rate Public Hearing
The Utilities Commission will host an Informational Session & Water Rate Public Hearing on Monday, October 7, beginning at 6 pm in Room 113 of the Hillsboro Civic Center, 150 E. Main St. 

  • 67 pm Informational Session: Community members can learn more, ask questions, and discuss proposed water rates with staff from Hillsboro’s Water and Finance departments.
  • 7 pm Public Hearing: Community members can provide input to the Utilities Commission on the proposed 2020 water rates. Input previously received – by phone, online, mail, and on social media – will be also provided to the Commission during the hearing for consideration.

Factors Influencing Water Rates
Hillsboro’s water rates directly invest in: 

  • Protecting Our Water Source: Through monitoring, testing, and treatment, source protection, risk assessment, and emergency response planning, Hillsboro Water protects the water system and strives to ensure the water delivered to customers meets the stringent standards set by the state and federal governments and is safe to drink and use.
  • Maintaining Essential Infrastructure: Hillsboro Water strategically upgrades, repairs, and in some cases replaces aging parts of the water system to deliver safe, reliable drinking water to customers.
  • Building an Additional Water Supply Source: The City of Hillsboro is partnering with the Tualatin Valley Water District and the City of Beaverton to develop the mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville. This additional and redundant water supply source will help meet our community's needs today, in the future, and during emergencies.
  • Expanding Water Treatment Capacity and Seismic Resiliency: To provide additional water for growing communities in western Washington County, the Joint Water Commission (JWC) — owned in partnership by the cities of Hillsboro, Beaverton, Forest Grove and the Tualatin Valley Water District — are working on a project to expand the JWC Water Treatment Plant capacity from 75- to 85-million gallons of water per day and strengthen its seismic resiliency.

Next Steps
The Utilities Commission will consider taking action on the proposed 2020 water rate adjustments on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 1:30 pm in Room 207 of the Hillsboro Civic Center, 150 East Main Street. Members of the public are welcome to attend. 

If approved, any water rate adjustment will take effect on January 1, 2020. 

Additional information on the proposed 2020 water rates, along with the Water Rate Public Hearing agenda and presentations, and water rate frequently asked questions, will be posted at Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/WaterRates.

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