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Ross Valley Sanitary District

Wastewater Rate Study (2011-2014)

Project Background

This Ross Valley Sanitary District serves 29,000 Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs) in central Marin County including Ross Valley, Larkspur, and San Quentin Prison. HF&H first assisted the District with its sewer rate increases for FY 2011-12, with updates in 2012 and 2014. Several factors influenced the need for a 35% increase: the District incurred accelerated capital improvements in response to an EPA Compliance Order; a recent court settlement drew down the District’s reserves below minimal requirements; a reduction in the Prison’s EDUs, which shifted costs to Larkspur and Ross Valley; and an adjustment to equalize differences in the amount of property taxes paid by Ross Valley, which are not paid by Larkspur. The complex interrelationship of these factors was presented at several public meetings to develop understanding and acceptance.

Project Results

  • Facilitated Board and public buy-in to fund necessary capital improvements and improve reserve balances.
  • Revised residential uniform rate structure to acknowledge differences in average sewer flow by single-family residences and multi-family residences.