Public Works Commission Proposes New Water Rates

At its Sept. 8 meeting, the Beverly Hills Public Works Commission supported the proposed change in the commercial wastewater customer classes to include a third class, a $32 million water Capital Improvement Project (CIP) at the Cabrillo Reservoir, the fixed charge revenue ratio for water, pass-through charges, and to begin the Proposition 218 public notice process. Under the proposition, the city must hold a public hearing before changing property-related fees. The commission will meet with liaisons on Sept. 13, seek council approval in October, and is expected to hold a hearing before the holidays and ultimately implement new rates in the middle of January 2023. With the restructured rates, Beverly Hills residents and business owners can expect to see an increase in their bills next year. 

The new proposed policy separates residential wastewater customers (single-family and multi-family) and adds a quantity charge for the single-family and multi-family classes. “I think one of the hopes was this would urge people to go use irrigation meters,” Director of Public Works Shana Epstein said. “Those who have a lot of outdoor water use, so when we have to call for no outdoor water use, we have an ability to really see if those meters are running or not.”

Based on a cost-of-service study conducted by HF&H Consultants, LLC, the commission supported restructured water rates that include volumetric charges for residential customers and continued fixed and volumetric charges for commercial users. The city will also continue charging water reliability charges to generate revenue to cover the costs of developing water supplies to lessen dependence on the Metropolitan Water District.