BEVERLY HILLS—The Beverly Hills City Council held a public hearing on Tuesday, January 5 to discuss the possibility of a water service rate increase. The purpose for the public hearing was to allow oral testimony and written protests from those against the proposed changes to the water service. If a majority protest exists, the City Council is unable to implement the proposed water rate increase.
According to Beverly Hills Public Works, the City’s Enterprise is a non-profit generating enterprise that aims to coop enough revenue to cover all costs for the operation. The city compiled a detailed financial evaluation of all operation costs to ensure that the Enterprise is revenue-neutral with the ongoing changes in water consumption.
The City of Beverly Hills currently has three customer classes for its water rate structure that include: Single Family Residential, Multi-Family Residential and Commercial. The Single Family Residential and Multi-Family Residential Classes have four tiers, while the Commercial class has only one tier. Operating costs have risen and revenue has dropped because of water conversation during the state’s drought which is expected to continue.
Residents wanting to review the Water Rates Report can view a copy of the document at the office of the City Clerk. The City of Beverly Hills has currently projected a shortfall of $5.8 million over a 1-year period because of revenue drops, conservation efforts and increased operation costs to maintain a reliable water supply. The City currently has fixed costs for its water distribution system that does not decrease, compared to power and water purchases, which decrease with conservation.
Costs are expected to rise as Beverly Hills implements its 10-year Water Enterprise Plan that will ensure a reliable water system and provide safe water for all customers. Modifications to the Water Enterprise plan include:
- Ensure that each water customer’s costs accurately reflect the actual cost of service, as required by Proposition 218, given changes in water consumption patterns;
- Account for decreased revenues as a result of the City’s decreased water consumption and anticipated on-going conservation; and
- Account for the increased costs to improve the City’s water system reliability and ensure revenue stability.
The bi-monthly water rate is comprised of a fixed service (meter) charge and a quantity (consumption) charge. The City is considering a rate increase for the water consumption charges only. The consumption charge is based on the quantity of water that a customer consumes, measured in Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF) of water.
Residents with questions regarding how this water rate increase can impact water charges, may contact the City by calling 310-285-2436 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail or in person at Administrative Services – Utility Billing, 455 N. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills, California, 90210. For more information about the proposed water rate increase, please visit www.beverlyhills.org/waterrates.