Desert Messenger

July 20, 2022

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July 20, 2022 3 585 N. Central Quartzsite Open Mon-Fri 8-5 928-927-8787 Johnny DelPino, Owner BEST AUTO RV & TRUCK REPAIR SERVICE YOU CAN DEPEND ON! CLUTCHES PRIMARY & SECONDARY FREE Savings include our own American Standard Right Height Toilet ( $ 500 VALUE ) �EXPERIENCE YOU CAN TRUST Only American Standard has OVER 150 years of experience and off ers the Liberation Walk-In Bathtub �SUPERIOR DESIGN Ultra low easy entry and exit design, wide door, built-in safety bar & textured fl oor provides a safer bathing experience �PATENTED QUICK DRAIN ® TECHNOLOGY �LIFETIME WARRANTY The ONLY Lifetime Warranty on the bath AND installation, INCLUDING labor backed by American Standard �44 HYDROTHERAPY JETS More than any other tub we've seen WALK-IN BATHTUB SALE! SAVE $ 1,500 00 Limited Time Off er–Call Today! 855-909-3822 Lifetime Warranty | Finance Options Available * Walk-In Tubs M A D E I N TH E U . S . A . W I T H U . S . & I M P O R T E D P A R T S Council approves water & wastewater rate increases By Shanana Rain Golden-Bear Quartzsite Town Council unanimous- ly voted to approve a fi ve-year water and wastewater rate increase for all residential and commercial custom- ers in Quartzsite. The new rates will go into effect on all utility statements issued after August 1st, 2022. Quartzsite routinely evaluates the fi scal health of the community's water, wastewater, reclaimed wa- ter, environmental services, envi- ronmental compliance utilities. A recent study determined that rate adjustments are needed for the wa- ter and environmental services fees to maintain the fi scal health of the utility operations and ensure con- tinued quality services. During the regular Council meeting on Tuesday, July 12th, Utility Rates Consultant Dan Jackson, presented the 2022 Wastewater and Water Rate Study and Financial Forecast to the Council and attending public. Mr. Jackson has been preparing the Town's utility rate studies for the almost twen- ty years. Rate adjustments are a neces- sary part of operating a public utility in a fi nancially sound manner to the benefi t of the community. Jackson explained, "The average utility has been increasing rates 5-6% per year; recent increases in infl ation rates may push these ad- justments even higher. Rate adjust- ments are primarily due to reasons beyond a utility's control, such as infl ation, system replacement, etc. Capital improvement plans are a driving factor in the need for rate adjustments. 30-40% of utilities currently charge rates that do not cover their costs. The Town implemented a change in the rate plan in 2018 and the fi nal year of that plan was 2021. However, a new 5-year rate plan is required to fund continued operat- ing cost increases and the need to fund $2.7 million in additional cap- ital improvements. If infl ation and/ or interest rates increase in the next 2-3 years, long term rate plan may require review and/ or revision. The average Quartzsite residen- tial customer will see an increase of about $2.90 for the fi rst year, which is a 3% increase, and 3% each year for the next four years. The average commercial customer will see an increase of about 3% per month, or about $5/month. RV Parks would go up about 3-4% per month. With these utility rate increases, Quartzsite will be able to maintain customer service levels, achieve revenue suffi ciency, equitably as- sign the costs of service to different customer classes, promote effi cient water use, and operate self-suffi - cient utilities that are not subsidized or that subsidize other services. Jackson explained the benefi ts of adopting the rate plan: Will enable utility to continue operating on a stand-alone basis and independent of general fund assistance; will cov- er estimated increase cost of requi- site labor, services and materials; ensures that rate payers pay only for what it costs to provide water and wastewater service. Jackson said, "This increase will allow $2.7 million of capital invest- ment to improve quality of service and provide a well-functioning sys- tem for the future of Quartzsite." Northwest Quadrant Sewer Project update Town Manager Jim Ferguson an- nounced the Town held a Municipal Property Corporatin meeting on July 5th to authorize Letter of Conditions amendment to increase the Colo- nia grant funds by $619,000 for the northwest quadrant sewer project. Ferguson said, "The Town is ap- plying for grants and loans from USDA Rural Development for the sewer expansion project for the northwest quadrant." H explained a new review from the USDA offered the Town additional Colonia Grant Funds of $619,000 for the purpose of closing the septic tanks. These two Grants and loan from USDA are substantial for the community. Details of the project include a USDA Loan of $1,381,000.00. There's also a USDA Grant of $6,962,612.28 for just one part of the project- the main lines. An ad- ditional $2,187,387,72 Grant is to help the individual property own- ers in making the necessary im- provements including closing out their septic tanks which is a re- quirement. There was a previously funded PPG Grant of $30,000.00. Plus $10,000.00 previously funded applicant. The Total project cost will be $10,571,000.000. The upcoming year is planned for the engineering expenses and pro- cess. The construction won't begin for another year and half or two years. Council member Lynda Goldberg said, "The Town of Quartzsite has worked hard to help the citizens by going back to USDA seeking ad- ditional funding." Ferguson, said, "Yes, USDA came back to us and said, okay, we'll do it." There will be no additional cost to prop- erty owners when they hook up to the system during the construction phase. To learn more visit Quartz- or call Utility Depart- ment at 928-927-4333.

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