July 1, 2019
The 2018 budget process included a comprehensive Water and Sewer Conservation Plan. Based on this plan each year, there has been a change to the rates. The gradual change in rates and to the rate structure is to promote conservation and to achieve a rate structure similar to what Calvert County uses. The following three areas were pertinent to this decision:
Balancing the Budget- Prior to implementing the Water and Sewer Conservation Plan, the last time water and sewer rates were increased in North Beach was 2007. While rates have remained consistent, the cost to operate the two utilities has increased. A rate increase is necessary to cover the current costs of operating the utilities.
Conservation of Water- Over the last decade, North Beach has seen significant growth resulting in increased water usage. As indicated in the W&S conservation plan the region has seen a decline in the aquifer that supplies water to this area. The Town of North Beach is trying to be proactive in conserving the aquifer that is so vital to everyone.
Equitable Rate Structure- Prior to the implementation of the conservation plan the rate structure was nearly flat, meaning that a property using 40,000 gallons per quarter is only paying marginally more than a property using 10,000 gallons per quarter. The new proposed rate structure will more equitably distribute the cost of operating the utility based on actual usage. Last year the minimum was reduced to 8,000 gallons, this year the minimum will be reduced to 6,000 gallons and the graduated rates for calculation of usage in excess of 6,000 gallons has also increased. Please see the reverse side of this letter for a new rate guide to help you calculate how these changes will impact your bill.
As an example, under the current rate structure, a property using 15,000 gallons of water pays $177.20 per quarter. Under the proposed rate structure, the same property can expect to pay $229.20 per quarter. Prior to FY 18 the rate structure had the rate decreasing as more water is used, but with the new rate structure the rate increases as more water is used. Please note these figures and the ones in the rate guide include the Maryland Flush Tax of $15.00, which is currently included in the quarterly water and sewer billing.
Customers can help reduce some of the impact of this ongoing rate restructuring by practicing water conservation and replacing older fixtures with new low-flow fixtures. Please go here for tips on how to conserve.
Mayor and Town Council,
Town of North Beach