At its April 18 meeting, the Dos Palos city council unanimously adopted Resolution 23-05 accepting the rate study relating to water. Quad Knopf, Inc of Merced reviewed the city’s monthly water service connection fee and considered the costs associated with maintaining the existing water plant.
The cost to construct the plant will be funded by the State Water Resources Control Board.
“The water enterprise fund is currently underfunded, and current revenue is not meeting the current expenses,” said City Manager Dewayne Jones.
Although the City of Dos Palos has received a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board for a new water treatment plant, the funds have not been released. To receive the funds from the grant, the City of Dos Palos must show it has the resources to maintain the new water plant.
Increasing water rates for all residents is needed to achieve this. The water service rate is the cost to provide the service, the power, the chemicals, and the labor.
The new water rates must be adopted before the start of the project for the grant to be funded. In recent years, the City of Dos Palos has had issues with providing consistent water service to residents due to the aging water plant that is working beyond its useful life, outdated infrastructure, and the need for a new water plant.
The city also has plans to fund other capital improvement projects including a new groundwater well, a connection to the CCID canal to provide an alternative and/or additional source for the water supply, and installing a traveling screen at the Aqueduct to assist in removing debris from the water.
As part of the required actions of Proposition 218, the process relating to the proposed rate increase, property owners will receive information by mail explaining what the process is, why the rate increase and the existing and proposed rates.
As part of the water rate increase process, property owners will vote on whether to accept the increase or not. A majority “no” vote will require the city council propose a new rate structure, and doing so will further delay the construction of the water plant and city growth.
As part of Proposition 218, the city must post the planned increase for public review for a 45-day period. The city intends to schedule a workshop within that period to answer questions. Self-help will assist in going door to door talking to residents and answering any questions they may have.
The proposed new water rates and the new water plant timeline are available on the city’s website. A copy of the water rate study report is available at City Hall. Dos Palos City Council meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.