CLWSC explains new projects, rates

The Canyon Lake Water Supply Corporation held four public meetings last week, one each on December 1, 2, 3, and 4. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss a $7.5 million bond issue, related system improvement projects and a proposed rate increase.

CLWSC, a member-owned non-profit utility, serves approximately 18,000 persons at about 6500 meter locations. Total attendance at the four meetings was about 20 persons. The meetings were held at the Canyon Lake Fire Dept. Station #2 on Oblate Street (Dec. 1), the Spring Branch Fire Department on FM 311 (Dec. 2), CRRC at Canyon Lake Dam on South Access Road (Dec. 3), and the Park Shores Surface Water Treatment Plant on Lakeshore Drive (Dec. 4).

CLWSC General Manager Dale Yates presided at the meetings, presenting the information and taking questions. He explained that the expansion and modification efforts are in response to rule changes enacted or planned by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The CLWSC Board of Directors is seeking to ensure both the quality and quantity of water to exceed minimum standards he said.

As previously reported, the Texas Water Development Board has approved and will issue with CLWSC the $7.5 million in bonds. The proceeds are earmarked for five projects: expansion and modification of the Park Shores surface water treatment plant, expansion and modification of the Triple Peak surface water treatment plant, the connection of the Crystal Heights subdivision and Canyon City to the Triple Peak system, a 300,000 gallon elevated storage facility in Hancock, and an engineering study devoted to water quality and hydraulic and distribution modeling.

The last rate increase was nearly five years ago in 1999. The proposed rate increase is meant to meet debt service on the new bond issue and adjust for inflation. The methodology of the new rate system is designed to separate the utility's fixed and variable costs and to more equitably allocate them to the user.

The average water use per meter in the CLWSC area is about 6500 gallons per month. Previously the monthly minimum for delivery included 2000 gallons of usage for $26.95. Under the proposed new rates, delivery and usage are separated. The monthly minimum drops to $24.95 for 0 gallons of usage.

Usage charge per gallon proceeds according to an incline block rate: $2.10 per 1,000 gallons for the first 2,000 gallons, $2.25 per 1,000 gallons for the next 8,000 gallons, $2.50 per 1,000 gallons for the next 15,000 gallons, and $2.75 per 1,000 gallons for over 25,000 gallons.

Additionally, the costs of the unused portion of raw surface water purchased from the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority (GBRA) under its "take or pay" contracts will be allocated to members by a separate water supply fee. It is calculated by dividing the GBRA charges by total annual gallons sold and will be recalculated yearly. The fee will be assessed based on usage.

In a billing comparison of the old and new rate schedules, the average user of 6500 gallons monthly would see an increase of $7.74 per month.

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