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Case Studies

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City of Ceres

Water Rate and Connection Fee Study (2008, 2012)

Project Background

Ceres had not increased its water rates in twelve years when HF&H started assisting them with their water rates in 2008. The City was faced with rapidly declining reserves and substantial capital improvements for new wells, surface water treatment, and the installation of water meters. Connection fees also had to be set so that they recovered an appropriate amount of growth-related costs without creating hardships on development or rendering the City uncompetitive with its neighbors. In 2012, HF&H updated the financial projections to incorporate the latest facilities master plan for local and regional water distribution and treatment projects.

Project Results

  • Developed a set of multi-year financial plans ranging from minimal to optimal rate increases for presentation to the City Council in a series of workshops.
  • Implemented a transitional strategy that would allow residential rates to smoothly convert from flat to metered rates in a series of steps to allow for a five-year transition period to align the rates with the cost of service.
  • Assisted with the issuance of a $4,000,000 revenue bond for installing water meters and other near-term capital projects.