Twain Harte faces utility-rate hikes

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By LENORE

RUTHERFORD

Water and sewer bills in Twain Harte will go up this summer, but by how much is still being determined by the Twain Harte Community Services District.

The rate discussions are prompted by rising costs and district staff members' information that Tuolumne Utilities District will soon raise its sewer rates to the district. Twain Harte's raw sewage is piped into TUD lines for treatment.

TUD staff members have given the Twain Harte district possible increase amounts, but those figures have not yet been approved by TUD's Board of Directors and could change, said THCSD Manager Don Kasso.

The rate charged to the district by TUD is $7.38 for each residential customer monthly. One option that has been discussed is raising the rate in three steps, to $11.82 starting July 1, then to $13.37 beginning July 1, 2004, and to $14.94 beginning July 1, 2005.

The Twain Harte district now charges $17 monthly for each residential customer for water, plus additional fees for using more than 2,000 gallons.

The sewer fee is $15 a month. In addition to paying TUD to process sewage, the fee goes toward operations, maintenance and replacement costs of district-owned pipelines and equipment.

The last monthly rate hikes were in April 1998, when water fees went up from $15, and sewer bills increased from $13.

Kasso said in addition to the potential TUD increases, rising costs in general and the expense of complying with more state and federal regulations to protect public health have prompted THCSD to consider charging more.

The directors expect to know the exact amount of the TUD increase by Wednesday, June 4, when they have scheduled a 10 a.m. workshop at the district office, 22933 Twain Harte Drive.

Staff will update them on the TUD increases so they can form a tentative increase schedule. A public hearing on the increase proposal will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 17. The final decision might be made that night, or a special meeting could be called within a few days of the hearing to make the final decision.

11504464
The Union Democrat
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