City of Buckeye Undergoing Cost of Water Service Rate Review

City of Buckeye Undergoing Planned Cost of Water Service Rate Review, To Include Impact of Last Year’s Purchase of Private Water Company

The City of Buckeye is in the midst of a planned independent cost of service study which will give city officials an update of what has been an on-going review of the city’s water and wastewater operation expenses.city council

Buckeye Water Resources Director Dave Nigh said Willdan Financial Services (formerly theeconomists.com) has been contracted to perform an update to its work first done in 2012.  That’s when the city, for the first time since the mid-1980s, was trying to evaluate the cost of its water services operation and its impact on customers.

“This outside consultant was first hired in 2012 because the city had not implemented any rate increase of any consequence since 1987,” Nigh said.  “That study evaluated the expense of operating a water and wastewater utility and ensured that we would be charging appropriate rates to recover our costs.”

Based on that initial study’s numbers, the Buckeye City Council approved a new rate increase schedule that started in 2013 and runs through 2017.

“The city has annually reviewed the actual numbers and has adjusted certain rates as appropriate,” Nigh said.

As a result of the on-going evaluation, lower rates for 2015, 2016 and 2017 were approved by the City Council last year based on a year’s review of the 2013 rate increases and their impacts on customers.

“We are now performing an update to that cost of service study as planned,” Nigh added.

The planned review by Willdan Financial Services, which began weeks ago, will also take into account the city’s acquisition last year of the approximately 7,000 customers of the Valencia Water Company, a subsidiary of Global Water Company.

Nigh said the final report of Willdan Financial Services’ review is expected to be presented to the City Council in a couple of months.