Sunset Valley talks utility costs

Council reviews new rate study

By Joe Olivieri

For years Sunset Valley has subsidized residential utility costs and watched as its share of the bills increase.

In 2013 the city covered $454,896 of the total $589,726 cost to provide water, wastewater and solid waste services. City officials also hired Kythe LLC to perform a utility rate and cost-of-service study.

Sunset Valley City Council discussed the study and the city Finance Committee's recommendations at an Aug. 5 council meeting. No action was taken.

The Finance Committee recommended redistributing the $13.40 base water rate as a $8.40 water base rate, a $4 wastewater base rate and a $1 solid waste and recycling base rate. The recommended changes would not increase utility bills for the roughly half of the city's customers who use between 3,000 to 10,000 gallons of water per month. Customers who use less than 3,000 gallons a month pay no volume charge.

Mayor Rose Cardona incorporated some committee recommendations into the draft 2014-15 budget. A budget public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 2.