May Newsline: Water rate increase for Sacramento, federal money in play for water/sewer upgrades

May 2009 Vol. 64 No. 5

Water rate increase hits Sacramento region
Charlotte eyes federal money for water/sewer programs
Cellular South expands broadband network in Mississippi
GTI offers DIMP Pipeline Regulation workshop

New approaches needed to build U.S. infrastructure
Study reveals construction equipment theft holds steady
$50B infrastructure projects announced
In Memoriam

Water rate increase hits Sacramento region

Water rates are rising across the Sacramento region as utilities wrestle with the need to upgrade aging facilities. The Sacramento County agency, as part of the Freeport Regional Water Agency, has an expensive capital improvement project under way: a water intake at the Sacramento River, a 17-mile pipeline and a new water treatment plant.

To offset these expenses, businesses and residents that get their water from the Sacramento County Water Agency can expect double-digit rate increases beginning in July.

Faced with declining fees from new construction, the county agency has proposed raising monthly rates for general commercial customers by about 12.5 percent this year and the same amount next year.

Rates for residential customers would increase to 18.7 percent this year for a flat-rate monthly bill and 25.3 percent for a metered customer.

The agency provides water to about 55,000 homes and businesses in south Sacramento and parts of Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova.

Fees from new connections for water service, paid by developers when they received building permits, historically have covered about 50 percent of the water agency’s revenues. But with the construction downturn, revenue from new connections has declined. The water agency projects its revenue needs will grow from $42.7 million in the year ended June 30 to more than $78.9 million in fiscal 2014.

Charlotte eyes federal money for water/sewer programs

Charlotte, NC, city leaders approved applications for more than a dozen water, stormwater and sewer projects that could tap into the federal stimulus funding dollars. Prompted by the area’s growth, the requests include: