MCSD ponders proposed rate increases

Shareen Strauss
John Van Den Bergh, Rural Development Specialist, spoke to the MCSD board and the public on Oct. 14, explaining a recently completed rate study and the need to raise rates.

At the regular board meeting of the McCloud Community Services District on Monday, Oct. 14, Rural Development Specialist for the Rural Community Assistance Corporation John Van Den Bergh gave an in-depth summary of a recently completed rate study and why directors may need to consider raising service district rates.

The services district provides water, sewer, snow removal, refuse, alleys and lights services for McCloud residents. The current monthly rates are $40 for water, $40.10 for sewer, $23.20 for refuse, $7.40 for alleys and $2.40 for lights.

The financial analysis recommends balancing the forecast budget and maintaining required reserves to continue operating in the long run. The study recommends raising monthly rates as follows: $53-$58 for water, $48-$55 for sewer, $31-$35 for refuse, $6-$8 for alleys, and $4-$5 for lights. This would increase monthly rates from the current $113.10 to between $142 and $161 per household.

Any proposed increases will appear on the ballot for the voters to approve.

Van Den Bergh explained that increases are necessary for operations, emergencies, equipment or structures that may need replacement, CalPers retirement and health insurance funding and inflation. Grants are also being sought.

It was announced that the outside water to homes in the district is being shut off, as is done annually when nighttime temperatures begin to drop below freezing. This is also done at Hoo Hoo Park, and the outside restroom facilities are being closed for the season.

The monthly McCloud Fire Department report showed that there were 20 activities for the month of October. The department responded to 13 calls. Eleven were medical aid in which the ambulance responded. Squad 1740 responded to one traffic collision, one public assist and 13 medical calls.

The McCloud Fire Department currently has 14 active firefighters, three EMTs, two paramedics, one explorer and one new member this month.

As a public reminder, the fire department advised people to make sure to have their chimneys cleaned to avoid flue fires.