Following the August 13 joint Shady Cove City Council and Water task force workshop, the city is perilously close to having their ‘final answer’ on the burning question residents have regarding a citywide water system; “How much will it cost me?”.
RosAnna Noval of the Rural Community Assistance Corporation gave a nearly two hour presentation providing details on the Rate Study and various options the city could use to meet the annual revenue needed if Phase I of the water system is to become reality. Noval did a brilliant job of taking a whole lot of math and making it understandable to everyone present.
The total amount of annual revenue needed to repay loans, save money for ‘rainy day’ emergencies, operations and maintenance and contingencies would be $802,933. Noval, the council and the task force looked at three ways these Phase I monies could be collected:
1. All Phase I monies raised via user fees (only those receiving water would pay)
2. 75% raised with user fees; 25% from property taxes (those who will receive water in Phase II do get benefits from Phase I as the “big components” i.e. holding tanks, main water line etc. go in).
3. 55% user fees, 45% taxes (Note: property taxes would be based on home value in each scenario)
Each option naturally costs various amounts per citizen per year. The Council has not decided which option will be the option, once this decision has been made the best guess “How much will this cost me?” question can answered. Best guess? Until loan and grant paperwork are actually signed – there can be no definitive answer. However; here are some averages based on two options:
If only user fees are applied each user would pay $71.80 per month. If it’s split 25/75 each citizen would pay $53.85 per month. Per the water survey results the monthly amount most folks are willing to pay is $40 – $50 and 62% of those surveyed are not willing to pay via taxes at all; so the “final” numbers don’t quite align with the desires expressed in the survey.
All the handouts from the meeting and a sample of the spread sheet used to calculate the various options will likely be added to the “Water” pages on the City’s website – all are available at City Hall. If you weren’t lucky enough to see Noval’s presentations the documents created are very helpful in illustrating the study! Additionally, questions can always be submitted to the Force via email firstname.lastname@example.org and the Force still plans on holding town hall meetings prior to the November vote.
By Christy Pitto
Of The Independent