It is common to conduct a study every five years to ensure rates meet the expenses necessary to operate the systems. The rate study scheduled for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 was postponed due to the pandemic with current rates remaining in effect.
Public Noticing Process
At the January 18, 2022, City Council Meeting, staff presented the draft Water and Sewer Rate Study, which was proceeded by sending Proposition 218 Notices to all property owners and renters subject to paying La Palma utility rates. The noticeswere mailed the week of February 14, 2022.
In November 1996, California voters approved Proposition 218, which requires compliance when setting utility rates. One provision requires that a noticed public hearing on utility rates be held not prior to 45 days of noticing; and that rates not be increased if a majority of affected property owners protest the increased rates in writing. A Public Hearing has been scheduled for April 5, 2022. Additionally there is a 120-day statute of limitations for challenging any new, increased, or extended fee or charges, commencing from the later of the effective date or the date of final passage, adoption, or approval of the Resolution. If adopted, rates would go into effect with a new billing cycle after July 1, 2022.
Since 2016, costs have increased to both produce and purchase water. California’s drought continues to impact revenue, while operation and importation costs continue to rise. In addition, there are two other factors impacting the need for water rate increases: Replacement of the Walker Well and Volumetric Flow.
The study concluded that current rates are sufficient to meet operational and required reserve fund balances over the next five years. No increases are being proposed.
The table below reflects the current rates and proposed rates for the next 5 years. For the full table of Proposed Bi-Monthly Water & Sewer Rates, see page 35 of the Water & Sewer Rate Study.
*CCF = 100 Cubic Feet
Water Fixed Service Charge
Water Volume Charge (Residential)
Water Volume Charge (Commercial)
Sewer Volume Charge Per CCF*
Water & Sewer Rates - Support Materials The following documents have been prepared and are available for viewing: