Comprehensive Rate Study

In October 2009, the Warwick Sewer Authority (WSA) directed B & E Consulting, LLC to conduct a comprehensive rate study. The Draft Rate Study, compiled by David C. Bebyn, CPA, is now available and provided for your review.

An Executive Summary is listed at the front of the Draft Rate Study. Following is a summary of B & E’s recommendations:

Increase the sewer assessment rate on new projects to $84 per linear foot to cover sewer construction costs;

Restructure sewer usage bills and create new charges that are more closely associated with the actual cost of providing those services (i.e., billing/administration charges, debt service charges, capital renewal and replacement charges, and treatment charges based on flows (more transparent cost allocation);

Relate service charges to demand, with the flat fee varying according to water meter size. This would greatly affect commercial and large residential customers; however, it should be noted that the current system is not fair in that some large commercial users pay the same service charge as a single-family residence (more equitable cost allocation);

Assess the capital and debt service charges across all users with sewer service availability. B&E is calling this a “Connect Capable Fee” which is authorized by WSA’s enabling legislation and is recommending a $272 per account charge (benefits allocation);

Increase fixed charges to cover fixed costs but decrease usage charges, which are based on variable treatment-based costs.

If WSA implements B&E’s recommendations, commercial accounts will end up paying more but the average residential user should see a slight decrease in their annual usage charges.

In addition to B & E’s primary recommendation, Mr. Bebyn has provided some other options for discussion purposes (see page 44, Schedule VIII-1 at the bottom, which summarizes the effects of the various alternatives presented by B&E). Without a Connect Capable Fee, the rates would have to be higher with average residential users looking at an approximately 5% increase in their bill.

Please note: B&E’s recommendations involve changes to the rates for fiscal year ending June 30, 2011 (effective July 1, 2010) but no further changes through the remainder of the 5-year study period.

This Draft Rate Study is a completely fresh look at how WSA charges for our expenses in providing sewer service. The Draft Rate Study will be considered carefully by the WSA Board of Directors and staff with input from the City Council and the City’s Administration. WSA is planning a series of public hearings to review the new rate structure and rates with its ratepayers and the public. Notice of these public hearings will be posted on this website and in the local newspaper.

Update: On May 26, 2011, the WSA Board of Directors met and approved the implementation of the "2011 rate study" and "changes to sewer usage charges and fee structure", as defined in the attachments below

 


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Consulting services to revise /update existing sewer rate schedule & fee structure for the Warwick Sewer Authority – (Fiscal year 2011-2016)

Implementation of 2011 Rate Study and Changes to Sewer Usage Charges and Fee Structure

Changes to Sewer Usage Chages FY15 & FY16