Proposed water rate hikes on tap today |

Proposed water rate hikes on tap today

The Nevada Irrigation District could approve water rate increases today.

At the meeting, starting at 9 a.m. at the district boardroom, 1036 W. Main St., Grass Valley, board members will consider a 4.46 percent increase on treated water rates for most residential customers (5/8 inch pipe), and eliminating a 5 percent discount for early bill-pay on raw water, phased over the next two years.

For most homeowners, that could mean a bump in fixed rates from $16.58 to $17.32 a month, and an increase from $1.22 to $1.36 a month per 100 cubic feet (748 gallons) used, said Finance Manager Marie Owens.

“We’re talking about less than a dollar a month,” said Board Member Nick Wilcox.

The new rates would potentially add more than $300,000 to the Nevada Irrigation District’s revenues – a projected $50,699 from raw water rate increases and $289,212 for treated water per year, according to staff reports.

Phasing the discount of 5 percent for raw water users (agriculture) who paid their whole year up front to 2.5 percent next year, and to zero the following, is a function of the economy, Owens said.

“That worked when we used to get 5 or 10 percent interest on our reserves, but not now that we get a half or 1 percent,” Owens said.

The rate hikes aim to help offset a projected deficit in 2012, spawned by the many capital improvement projects like pipeline and flume renovations the district has undertaken, Wilcox said.

“Those projects have been on the books a long time and very much need to be done,” Wilcox said.

To contact Staff Writer Greyson Howard, e-mail or call (530) 477-4237.

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