Newly Adopted Water and Wastewater Rates - Effective October 1, 2016
The City of Bellaire operates a water and wastewater system, and charges users for the use of that system. The current rates and rate structure have been in place for ten years and are insufficient to maintain an adequate 30 day fund balance or cover planned capital improvements.
On April 25, 2016 the City Council was presented with the results of a rate study conducted by Superior Water Management, LLC. This presentation highlighted the Enterprise Fund’s fiscal forecast which showed a negative fund balance of $1.4 million beginning in FY 2017. Based on this, a rate model was developed using the following principles:
1. Cover Costs of Service
2. Support Capital Projects
3. Provide Incentive for Conservation
4. Provide for Contingencies
5. React to Changes in what the City of Houston Charges for Surface Water
From this model a rate structure which would increase revenues by 25% was developed. These proposed rates would provide for an FY 2017 ending fund balance of $0.480 million over the 60 day reserve fund balance requirement.
At its July 11, 2016 meeting, the City Council reduced the 60 day fund balance requirement for the Enterprise Fund to 30 days and directed that rates be developed which would meet this requirement.
At an August 16, 2016 Budget Workshop, Council was presented with a rate structure which met the 30 day fund balance requirement and provided sufficient revenues to cover proposed FY 2017 expenses. Council directed the rates to be reevaluated to reduce the expected 21% increase in FY 2018, raising the base rates slightly in FY 2017 to do so.
Based on feedback from the City Council and the public, the rates below were developed. Council adopted these rates at their September 12, 2016 meeting. The adopted rates are effective October 1, 2016 and will be reflected in the November 2016 bill.