WSSC Commissioners to Hold Sixth Special Meeting to Discuss Management’s Final Rate Structure Recommendation
Special Meeting Open to Public and Livestreamed
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LAUREL, Md. – July 6, 2018: WSSC Commissioners will receive management’s final rate structure recommendation at their sixth special public meeting on Tuesday, July 17, starting at 11 a.m., at WSSC’s headquarters in Laurel. The recommendation follows a transparent and collaborative public process involving nationally-renowned rate structure experts, an authority on Maryland water conservation, a consumer advocate and affordability expert, and extensive customer outreach.
Management’s recommended combined water/sewer rate structure is a 4-tier inclining block structure, identified as one of three alternatives that were unanimously approved on November 15 for transmission to the County Executives and County Councils of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties (see chart below). The basis for these proposed rate structures included: customer input, Commissioners’ policy priorities, Cost of Service Study, Maryland Public Service Commission’s (PSC) directive to develop a reasonable rate structure, WSSC customer information, and consideration of the impact of various rate structures on water conservation, customer affordability, revenue stability and rate stability.
Following a briefing on management’s recommendation, WSSC customers and members of the public will have an opportunity to provide comments. The public meeting will be livestreamed on WSSC’s website.
Throughout the rate structure development process, WSSC engaged in an extensive public outreach campaign to garner input and feedback from residential and non-residential customers, elected officials and other interested stakeholders in both counties. In total, WSSC held or participated in more than 30 public meetings or hearings since spring 2017, which were attended by approximately 1,500 customers and generated more than 300 total comments. Additionally, all WSSC meetings were livestreamed and seen by nearly 2,500 viewers.
WSSC Commissioners are expected to vote on the final rate structure at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. The selected new tiered rate structure is expected to go into effect on July 1, 2019. Until then, WSSC will be programming and testing the rate structure in WSSC’s new billing system, which is expected to launch next spring.
WSSC’s existing water and sewer rate structure is more than 25 years old and good management practice dictates periodic review of rate structure alternatives. Additionally, the Maryland PSC directed WSSC to develop a new rate structure after ruling the current 16-tier structure was unreasonable because they found it to be preferential to low-usage customers.
For more information on the proposed rate structures and to view video recordings from past meetings, visit: www.wsscwater.com/ratestudy.
For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.