Board Approves 2013 Budget and Rate Increase

PALMDALE, CA, January 14, 2013 –The Board of Directors of the Palmdale Water District adopted the 2013 Budget at their regular Board meeting on Wednesday, January 9, 2013. Board President, Gordon Dexter, stated, “The Board made a tough decision to add a rate increase to the 2013 budget, but it stabilizes finances and allows for access to funding for replacing old water mains.” Although the Board approved an 8% water rate increase, the effect to most customers will be a 3% increase due to the recent settlement of lawsuits between the City of Palmdale and the District. The settlement provisions provided a 10% larger water base allowance for both indoor and outdoor water usage starting January 1, 2013. This provision effectively decreased water rates by 5% for the average water bill. The average water bill is anticipated to increase approximately $1.40 per month; however, some customers may see a higher increase based on actual water usage.

Revenue created by the increase in water rates will go directly towards infrastructure projects and securing funds for infrastructure projects – specifically replacement of aging water mains built in the 1950s and well rehabilitation.

Also included in the 2013 budget is a freeze on staff merit raises, no cost of living adjustment (COLA), and elimination of an annual contract with Capital Dynamics. It will be a tough year for everyone, but the Board is dedicated to exploring every opportunity to reduce costs and committed to making the District as efficient as possible.

On January 19, 2013, the District is having a workshop on the new “Cash for Grass” program. The District will also explain the water re-allocation and the water rate change. Please call (661) 456-1001 to sign up for the workshop. There will be at least two workshops per month; seating is limited so call early.

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