Public meetings on proposed water rate hike to be held

Local News
Board of Water Supply

Your water rates could be going up, and this week you’ll get your first of many chances to weigh in.

We first told you last month, that the Board of Water supply is considering a rate hike.

Under the proposal, a single family home that uses about 9,000 gallons a month will see an increase of about $10 in the next five years.
    
The draft water rate proposal will be presented at a series of public hearings, at which public input and suggestions will be sought. The public hearings will be held on the following dates, times, and locations:

·         Honolulu-April 26, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. at the Mission Memorial Auditorium, 550 South King Street (free parking is available at the Municipal Parking Structure from 4 p.m.)

·         Kapolei-May 14, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. at Kapolei Hale in the Conference Room, 1000 Uluohia Street

·         Kaneohe-May 15, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. at Benjamin Parker Elementary School Cafeteria, 45-259 Waikalua Road

·         Mililani-May 24, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. at Mililani Recreation Center #5, 95-1101 Ainamakua Drive

The rate changes are driven by the need to increase investments in Oahu’s water infrastructure, reduce water main breaks, encourage conservation, provide sufficient funding for disaster recovery, and more equitably distribute rates and charges among customer classes.

As a result, the proposed rate changes will vary by customer type.
•Single family residential customers (stand-alone households and duplexes) will see the largest increase. As a group, these customers currently pay only 88% of the costs to serve them, leaving 12% to be subsidized by other rate-payer classes.
•Multi-unit residential customers (triplexes up to high-rise complexes) will see smaller increases as rates are adjusted over time to eliminate their subsidy to single family customers.
•The billing charge currently assessed to all customers at a flat rate is proposed to become a monthly customer charge that varies by meter size, to more fairly distribute costs so customers with larger meters pay more. Most residences have meters that are 3/4″ or 5/8″ and will see the least change in their monthly charge.
•Customers with private fire protection systems will no longer only pay for incidental water use, but instead will pay a nominal monthly fire meter standby charge.
•A new affordability water-use tier will be added to cover “Essential Needs” for basic water uses such as drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. This tier will be available to all residents and agricultural water customers.
•The rate tiers are being adjusted to encourage more conservation.

All of these changes are intended to more equitably recover BWS’s costs in providing water service to each type of customer.

The proposed changes are based on four years of studies, intensive analysis, and public input, including BWS’s preparation of a Water Master Plan, a 30-year Infrastructure Investment Plan, and a Long Range Financial Plan. The rate proposal reflects input from a community advisory group with representation throughout Oahu, meetings with diverse island interests, as well as multiple customer surveys and focus groups.

The proposed adjustments to the water rates being proposed are available online at www.boardofwatersupply.com/waterrates or by coming to the BWS at 630 South Beretania Street. The BWS welcomes feedback from the public about these changes. For more information call 748-5041 or email contactus@hbws.org.
 

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