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Case Studies

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City of West Sacramento

Water and Wastewater Rate and Connection Fee Studies (2014-2017)

Project Background

HF&H conducted water and wastewater rate and connection fee studies for the City (population 70,000) in conjunction with updated facilities master plans.  The City was in the process of metering all of its water customers, which required setting flat rates for the unmetered customers, until they became metered and were charged uniform quantity charges.  The wastewater rate study evaluated various debt funding alternatives required to support the capital improvement program.  The cost of service analysis updated the customer class allocations, which had changed considerably since the previous update, which did not reflect the transfer of wastewater treatment from the City to the regional wastewater treatment plant.  Connection fees were set to reimburse rate payers for the costs they bore to provide capacity for growth.  The methodology was presented in a series of Council worksessions.

Project Results

  • Based on our prior experience in converting unmetered to metered customers, the Council adopted metered water rates that it felt were reasonable after a period of shortage.
  • Wastewater rates reflected the cost of service with customer class rate structures that were consistent with the regional wastewater agency’s structures.
  • The Council adopted connection fees through a consensus-building series of workshops that helped them balance the allocation of the cost of capacity between existing rate payers and the development community.