From Loudoun Water February 10 2012:

Loudoun Water Board Approves Community System Rate Increase

Also Approves Monthly Billing for Community System Customers

CONTACT:
Mike McGill
O) 571-291-7969
mmcgill@loudounwater.org

Ashburn, Virginia – February 10, 2012:  During its February board meeting held Thursday, February 9, 2012, Loudoun Water’s Board of Directors voted 5-2-2 to approve a rate increase for developer-initiated community systems and the implementation of a three-tier water rate system consistent with the system for Loudoun Water’s Central System customers.  Voting for the proposal were Loudoun Water Board Chairman Fred Jennings and Board Members Johnny Rocca, Mark Koblos, Pravin Gandhi and Ralph Watson.  Voting against the proposal were recently appointed Board Members Hobie Mitchel and John Whitmore.

Rate studies conducted for Loudoun Water showed the cost for operating the community systems results in almost a $100,000 annual deficit.  The deficit is tripled if renewal, replacement and capital funds are NOT fully recovered.  “No one wants to see their rates go up,” said Chairman Jennings.  “On the other hand, it is the number one responsibility of [the Loudoun Water] board to set rates. We are under a fiduciary responsibility to recover costs and not to operate at a deficit.”

The following rates and structure will be put in place for all usage on or after February 10, 2012, for Community System residents in Lenah Run, Elysian Heights, Raspberry Falls, Selma Estates, Beacon Hill, Rokeby and Courtland.  New metered community systems that begin service will also adhere to this schedule.  Community System customers will also begin to be billed on a monthly basis instead of the current quarterly process.

The approved rates are as follows, as of February 10, 2012:

Monthly
Consumption                        Rate per
Range (gallons)                    1,000 gallons

Tier 1                           0 – 8,400                                  $2.99
Tier 2                           8,401 – 24,400                         $7.23
Tier 3                           > 24,400                                  $9.34

A Basic (fixed) Charge will be billed monthly as follows:

Residential:                                                               $10.04
Commercial:
¾” meter                                                                     $15.06
1” meter                                                                      $34.14
1 ½”                                                                            $55.22
2”                                                                                $90.36
3”                                                                                $150.60
4”                                                                    &nb
sp;           $251.00
6”                                                                                $502.00

The approved sewer rate is as follows:

Uniform rate per 1,000 gallons                                   $6.00

The approved path forward differed from an initial proposal before the Board in January, which included a three-stage rate increase for years 2012, 2013 and 2014.  Comments and questions received during the public comment period requested that the board reconsider its proposal due to its financial impact and a perceived lack of transparency by Loudoun Water. While all legal requirements for public notice were met, five public workshops were held, and a detailed letter was sent to every Community System customer, the board determined that, as a courtesy to the customers, a summary document detailing the proposal should be made available to the public prior to the board’s vote.

The summary document was created in January by Municipal & Financial Services Group and reflected their recommendation for rates.  The document was posted online on www.loudounwater.org, sent to the media, and emailed directly to all Community Systems residents and homeowners associations, which gave their email addresses to Loudoun Water.