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Sewer Rates to Fall 4 Percent

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AFP Photo- Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images

AFP Photo- Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images

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The item below is an unedited press release from Clark County, Nevada, received by KXNT on Tuesday, March 19.

Board Votes to Lower Sewer Bills 4%

The 9,094 commercial and 231,758 residential customers served by the Clark County Water Reclamation District will see a 4-percent reduction in their sewer bills, effective July 1.

The County Commission, acting as the Board of Trustees for the Clark County Water Reclamation District, today approved the reduced rates following a review it had ordered of the district’s financial plan and $700 million capital plan.

The annual sewer service fee is $230.30 per house (labeled an “equivalent residential unit” or “ERU” by the district). As a result of today’s action, that rate will drop to $221.09 per house on July 1. Those having sewer hookups in facilities other than houses pay a fraction or multiple of the ERU, depending upon nature of the facility.

“This rate reduction is the result of maintaining needed investments in the infrastructure while still producing a savings for the residential and commercial ratepayers,” said Commissioner Larry Brown, chairman of the district’s Board of Trustees.

The board asked for a review of the district’s capital improvement program last year, along with a review of the district’s financial plan. The board discussed the spending and staffing needs of the five-year plan, followed by a discussion on finances, reserves and rates. Following the reviews, the board directed staff to evaluate the feasibility of a reduction to the service fees.

District staff, along with the financial advisory firm of Hobbs Ong and Associates, reviewed rate scenarios and the effects on the operating and capital budgets. The analysis found that changes could be made with the financial reserves and that a 4-percent reduction to the annual service charges, effective July 1, should be sustainable for the next five years, while maintaining the projected capital spending of more than $700 million.

The other component to the review was the rate calculations for the commercial customers in Indian Springs. Since taking over the failing system from a private company, the district completed multiple repairs, rehabilitations and even a new treatment facility to serve the community and Creech Air Force Base. More than $31 million was spent on the system.

Staff recommended to the board that the universal rate structure adopted by the board in 2008 be revised to include Indian Springs’ customers, which will affect about 24 commercial customers – about one-half will see a decrease in their rate calculation and the other half an increase.

The Water Reclamation District is the wastewater agency serving unincorporated Clark County. In addition to the unincorporated areas within the Las Vegas Valley, the district provides wastewater collection and treatment in the communities of Blue Diamond, Indian Springs, Laughlin, Moapa Valley and Searchlight. With seven treatment facilities, the district collects and reclaims more than 100 million gallons of wastewater each day.

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