550 percent wastewater rate increase for Country West folks
Town Council modifies fees to match all other multi-housing rates
The Chino Valley Town Council voted to modify the wastewater rates for residents of Country West Mobile Home Park at the May 23 regular meeting, in order to be consistent with all other multi-family housing rates in town.
Councilmembers eliminated the base charge, and also provided an alternate rate for certain circumstances that charges for actual water use.
Finance Director Joe Duffy explained that Country West was the first multi-family housing park created about 10 years ago. At that time, either town staff made an error or the town just never set a multi-family rate. He assured council that Country West has, over the years, complied with everything asked of it by the town.
The resolution, approved unanimously by the council, concluded that the proposed rate modifications were “just and reasonable, and it is in the best interest of the town to adopt the proposed changes in order to maintain the financial integrity of the town’s sewer enterprises.”
They deleted the base charge of $400, and set the new rate at $3.21 per fixture unit; at $64.14 for equivalent dwelling unit (20 fixture units); and set an alternate rated based on actual water usage at $3.21 per fixture unit calculated by using 12.5 gallons per unit per day. The alternate rate is available only where the town provides water. In establishing the base rate, in this case, the town can use the actual number of units, an estimated number of units, or historical water use.
The new rate corresponds to what the town charges for other multi-family housing, according to town staff. It takes effect July 1.
The town analyzed historical water usage during a December-February time frame and again October through March for a total of 34 months. The average gallons per day was 97 and 106, respectively; recreational vehicles used an average of 70 gallons per day. From this, they determined a fixture unit monthly bill of $26 for mobile home usage and $18 for RV units.
For residents, this means an increase from $4 per household per month to $26 per month, a 550 percent increase.
During the public hearing portion of the meeting, only one person spoke to the council.
Country West resident Mark Vucich protested the rate increase occurring all at once, and asked what constituted a multi-family classification.
Duffy said this affects anyone on a master meter, also including apartments, duplexes, hotels/motels, schools and churches.
“People are on fixed incomes,” Vucich said. “Twenty-six dollars may not sound like much, but it is.”
He asked the council members to consider phasing in the increase over the next two years, with $13.50 the first year and $13.50 more the second.
“A lot of senior citizens are having a tough time,” he added.
Councilmembers Annie Lane and Mike Best being absent, the council approved the rate modification 4-0.
In other action, the council:
• Proclaimed May 26-27 as Poppy Days.
• Approved a Series 10 liquor license for Danny’s Fish and Chips.
• Approved a zone change from SR-2.5 to SR-1 for 1.16 acres for applicant Ryan Metchis.
• Heard from Interim Public Works Director Richard Straub on future flood control projects.