The Nipomo Community Services District on Wednesday began the process of creating or raising more than 15 fees its customers could pay for a variety of water-related services.
The district’s board of directors introduced the new fees in the form of an ordinance and set a hearing for Feb. 11 for formally adopting them. The board held a short discussion of the fees, but no members of the public commented or complained about them.
Michael LeBrun, the district’s general manager, said it has been more than 20 years since the district last updated its fee structure. The fees allow the district to recoup costs incurred by providing services to individual customers rather than having those costs spread among the district’s 4,325 customers.
Five fees were increased and 11 new fees were created. Only about 1 percent of the district’s customers are expected to incur these costs, typically on a one-time basis.
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“So most customers never incur the fees, but some do, and the most typical fee incurred by a customer is related to late and/or nonpayment of a water bill,” LeBrun said.
The directors said the new fees seemed equitable. They are based on a survey comparing the district’s fees to those charged by other local water districts and surrounding cities.
Directors singled out for discussion several fees that would go up rather precipitously. For example, the account setup fee will go from $10 to $42, an increase of more than 400 percent.
LeBrun said those large increases are due to the fact that the fees have not been adjusted for 20 years. If approved Feb. 11, the fees will go into effect July 1.
Late payment and returned check fees would also increase. Fees for tampering with meters would jump from $25 to $137.
Some new fees include $20 for a shut-off notice, $147 for after-hours water turn off or on, and $118 plus costs to remove or replace a meter.