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Monterey One Water’s Regional Treatment Plant celebrated its 30th birthday last year. Throughout the decades, steady user fees allowed the Agency to operate and maintain this infrastructure. Now, we are at a critical juncture where maintenance alone is not enough to guarantee the reliable service you have come to expect from us. Many upgrade and replacement projects are needed to ensure the safe and uninterrupted treatment of your wastewater.
Additional revenue will support increases to critical expenses like chemicals and utilities, while assisting with necessary capital reinvestment, responding to personnel obligations, and improving the Agency’s financial strength.
Capital Reinvestment: Much of the Agency’s infrastructure is reaching its useful lifespan. Replacing or upgrading these assets will take significant resources, as detailed in the Agency’s 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan found on our Capital Improvement page.
Responding to Personnel Obligations: Like many service-based entities, M1W relies on the expertise of its specialized personnel. The Agency must respond to staffing needs to ensure reliable operations. Contributions to a pension trust and increased contributions from employees are also planned to reduce the Agency’s pension obligation.
Improving the Agency’s Financial Strength: The M1W Board adopted a Financial Reserve Policy to ensure the fiscal strength of the Agency. The policy has two major components: (1) maintain enough reserves to meet 50% of the annual operating expenses and (2) have on hand at least one year of Capital Project expenses.
Planning for the Future
M1W’s 10-Year Capital Program prioritizes what and when infrastructure improvements are needed to provide consistent service. The program focuses on replacing aging infrastructure, meeting regulatory requirements, preparing for the future, and ensuring sustainability in all we do. Projects focus on M1W’s comprehensive sewer system, including:
What do my fees fund? Sewer system management is a joint responsibility in our area. Your local city or district is responsible for collecting the wastewater exiting your home or business. Monterey One Water is responsible for helping pump it to the Regional Treatment Plant, the treatment of the wastewater, and the safe disposal or resuse of the treated water. The proposed rates represent the monthly fee for Monterey One Water’s sewer services.
Your fees do not fund any expenses associated with our water projects: (1) the Castroville Seawater Intrusion Project and (2) the Pure Water Monterey Groundwater Replenishment Project. Costs of these projects are funded through the sale of recycled and advanced purified water.
How are monthly rates set? To determine monthly rates, the Agency updated its Wastewater Rate and Comprehensive Fee Study (PDF) to include revised long-term estimates of operating and capital costs. In addition, comparisons were made to rates, capital investment, and reserve levels of comparable entities. The monthly rate structure selected is designed to immediately support M1W’s capital investment and improve its financial strength, with more modest increases in later years reflecting anticipated increases in annual operational expenses like chemicals and utilities. While the proposed rates represent significant change, the rate study confirmed they remain in line or lower than nearby sewer service providers and will help ensure the Agency continues to provide reliable, uninterrupted wastewater service. This information was graphically shared with each member entity via their city council or district meetings. View the Public Meeting Presentation (PDF) for full details and see a snapshot below.
As a public agency, you have a voice in our business practices. Any owner or customer of record in our service area may protest the proposed monthly rate increase. Vote against the described proposal using one of these methods:
Monterey One Water will hold a public hearing to consider the adoption of a proposed monthly rate increase for all customers in our service area. This notice is provided pursuant to California Government Code § 53755, Article XIII (D), Section 6 which requires proper notice of any proposed increases in fees to ratepayers and explains how you can participate in the rate-setting process.
Notice of Public Hearing
Monday, June 7, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
Remote participation only via web or teleconference
In compliance with Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-29-20 to avoid public gatherings, this meeting will be held only via remote participation using web or teleconferencing.