goldenhills

Golden Hills Community Services District is located at 21415 Reeves St.

Cara Jackson/Tehachapi News

Water rates may soon be going up for Golden Hills Community Services District due to declining water use, funds needed for capital improvements, the need to pay more potential staff and other concerns.

The public will have a chance to comment and address concerns at the Nov. 16 board meeting at the district office located at 21415 Reeves St.

“We are trying to help people understand what it costs them when they turn on their tap. We hope folks will come out and be engaged. I think it’s important to educate people about what they are paying for,” said Golden Hills interim manager Susan Wells, from Regional Government Services.

According to a water rate study dated November 2017 from Provost and Pritchard Consulting Group, the district current billing water rates per 1 unit of water or 748 gallons is slated to rise more than $5 for single family residences and the cost per rate for 10 units and up is slated to increase by more than $10. There is currently a discounted unit rate for users who consume one to five units and less, but that is slated to be removed.

A new water rate study usually is made every four to seven years to help the district budget funds.

“When customers aren’t using enough water, we can’t maintain the system,” said Jeff W. Eklund, senior engineer from Provost and Pritchard.

According to the water rate study dated November 2017 from Provost and Pritchard Consulting Group, the increase in rates will help “the district achieve its goal for revenue stability and not be adversely affected by a reduction of the customers’ water usage.” The Base Rate revenue will be approximately $1.1 million and cover 67 percent of the fixed costs for the district.

It also showed that water usage during fiscal years 2011-2016 went from 1,255 to 878 acre-feet. It is expected in 2017 to rise to more than 1000 acre-feet per year, with new rates helping raise revenue. If rates are not raised in 2017, water sales are projected to be $1,861,000, versus if water rates are raised it is projected to be $2,333,000, helping the district meet expenditures.

The revenue increase will help the district pay for new interior lining of seven gravity water storage tanks, a new computer tracking system, well rehabilitation, backhoe replacement, a truck replacement and meter changeouts.

The district will review the information, set a date for a public hearing not less than 45 days after a mailed notice, hold the hearing and if less than 51 percent of residents do not protest against the rise in water rates, the rates will be adjusted.

For more information, see ghcsd.com.