By GENEVIEVE BOOKWALTER
Directors of Twain Harte Community Services District will hold a public hearing tomorrow regarding higher water and sewer rates for the district's customers.
The district has not raised rates for more than five years, said General Manager Don Kasso. In that time, the cost of energy and treating water has gone up, and the district must raise rates to cover those and other increased costs. Tuolumne Utilities District is also raising its charge to the Twain Harte district for sewer service, and Kasso said the Twain Harte district must pass those increases on to the customers in order to meet payments.
Directors will hear public comments and vote on rate increases spread over four years at tomorrow's meeting.
The sewer rate for a single family residence is now $15 per month. On July 15, that cost would jump to $25. In July 2004, the price would rise to $27; July 2005 it would rise to $29, and July 2006 it would hit $30.
If approved, water rates also would increase over four years. Customers now pay $17 per month for service. On July 15, the price will go to $29; July 2004 it will rise to $31, July 2005 it will rise to $32, and July 2006 it will be $34.
Water rates will also increase based on the amount used per month. A customer's first 2,000 gallons used is included in the monthly service charge.
The next 4,000 gallons now cost $.90 per 1,000 gallons, $.95 per 1,000 gallons for the 5,000 gallons after that, and customers who use more than 11,000 gallons pay $1.25 per 1,000 gallons for that excess amount.
The proposed rates would increase all those prices by $1 per month, beginning in July.
"We probably should have increased rates before now," Kasso said. "That's the reason, on water in particular, that we've made a big jump."