Rate increase process topic of special meeting Monday in Cambria

ktanner@thetribunenews.comMay 15, 2014 

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Likely increases in the cost of water and sewer service is up for discussion during a special workshop meeting of the Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors at 2 p.m. Monday, May 19. 

Changes in how the rates are structured may be discussed, including sharply higher rates that would kick in when a customer uses more water than the norm.

Consultant Alex Handler of Bartle Wells, the firm researching district rates and needs for additional funding, is expected to attend the meeting.

Ratepayers would have the opportunity to veto any increase through the state’s Proposition 218 process by filing protests.

Jerry Gruber, district general manager, said via email that staff will be informing directors about that process.

Among possible projects that could be funded by a rate increase are at least some of the costs for an emergency water supply that’s now estimated to cost between $5 million and $7 million, plus other infrastructure that the district needs, such as a new pump station on Rodeo Grounds Road and water-storage tanks in the Top of the World area of Lodge Hill. 

Bartle Wells has been working toward a rate study for the district for some time, according to Director Amanda Rice. Now, with the urgent need for an emergency water supply and the possible need to borrow money for it, there could be a requirement to “show lenders we have the money to pay them back, (so) the timeline is much more compressed,” she said.

Follow Kathe Tanner on Twitter at @CambriaReporter.

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