The Needles Public Utility Authority and Needles city council committee have voted in the majority for approving the five percent cost-of-living increment in water, electric, and wastewater charges. According to the reports, the vote was 6-1 as only Donald Evans (member of Needles city council) voted for No.
The statement policies were revised in 2018, which states that power rates will be designed to provide the resources for maintenance and operations. The rest of the fields, like bond payments, State or any federal program, taxes, purchase payments, trustee fee, fair share allocation, etc., are required to purchase the power supply. The rates will be calculated according to the two components: non-power purchase and power purchase costs.
Now 5% cos0f living or COLA increase has been approved in the electric rates, and it will be applicable from 1st October 2021. The board of Public Utilities has already approved this increment on 7th September 2021.
Now, coming back to Water and Wastewater. As per the Needles City Council/NPUA Resolution No. 2020-66 and 2020-67, the City of Needles adopted these resolutions on 13th October 2020. In order to offset the cost of providing these services to customers, the basic utility rate and the usage charge are adjusted each year to reflect the cost of living adjustments.
All rates will get adjusted on 1st October of each year with the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for using the rates and the consumer price index (CPI). Size Class B/C Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will be calculated by the June value of the proper price index or twelve (12) months of the actual expense and the CPI, whichever is lower. A percentage increase of more than five percent (5%) is prohibited.
According to the attached spreadsheets, the new rates will be determined by Resolution Nos. 2020-66 and 2020-67. In order to counteract the current inflation rate, water and wastewater rates are set to increase.
Under the cost-of-living index (COLA), it is recommended to increase water and wastewater rates by 5% per year as of 1st October 2021. This recommendation was approved on Tuesday, 7th September 2021, by the Needles Board of Public Utilities.
A special meeting of the Board of Public Utilities was held on Friday, 10th September 2021, at which the recommended action was approved. On Facebook, ZachNews was live-broadcasting the presentations, discussions, and voting on the 5% cost-of-living hike in electric, water, and wastewater for Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority members.