Halsey, Oregon

Halsey city council and residents questioned the need for annual water rate increases

RCAC conducted a water rate analysis and training for city staff and residents

Every year, the city of Halsey raised its customers’ water rates by $1.00 per month, and every year the city council and community residents questioned the need for the annual rate increase.  New city staff could not respond to community questions because they were unfamiliar with utility rate-setting practices. The city asked RCAC to evaluate the utility’s financial status and the need for rate increases.

RCAC used historic water-use and financial data to prepare a comprehensive asset management plan to assess current rates. RCAC’s analysis revealed that increasing water base rates by $1.00 was not sufficient to meet the projected revenue requirements in coming years. RCAC’s analysis concluded that actually an average increase of $8.36 per month would be required to generate the additional revenues needed to cover operations, maintenance and future capital improvement costs, and to ensure financial viability and sustainability.

RCAC helped the city develop a five-year budget projection, educated city staff on the rate study process and provided additional learning resources. Currently, the city staff is better prepared to evaluate water rates and address questions from the council and public.

“Thank you for your presentation. It was so great to have someone tell us what we needed to know, and help us understand it,” said one Halsey city council member.