Where: Twin Falls County, Idaho
Problem: City of Kimberly needed to determine water use and customer rates and to balance its budget
Solution: RCAC reviewed Kimberly’s water use and presented the city with two options for raising rates and balancing its budget

In 2013–2014 budget the city of Kimberly overestimated wastewater revenues and underestimated treatment costs, creating serious difficulties in balancing its budget.

Kimberly is a bedroom community for the largest city in the county, Twin Falls. It pumps its wastewater into a sewer main that conveys the waste to the Twin Falls treatment plant, which recently increased its rates.

RCAC reviewed Kimberly’s water use. , determined the average wastewater use for residential and commercial customers, and presented the city with two rate options to balance its budget.

Option A was to raise rates by $9.20 per month per wastewater Equivalent Dwelling Unit for the remainder of the fiscal year. Option B was to raise rates by $2.71 per month to achieve a balanced budget by the end of fiscal year 2014 – 2015. The council voted for Option A as the choice that would most quickly improve Kimberly’s financial position.

RCAC’s water use analysis had an additional, unexpected benefit for Kimberly. The city had been using 10-year old estimates of water use by commercial customers. Actual water data indicated that many of these estimates were inaccurate, and some customers were being overcharged, while others were being undercharged. Upon RCAC’s recommendation, Kimberly is conducting a more careful analysis of water use data.