Report to/Rapport au:

 

Planning & Environment Committee/

Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement

 

and Council / et au Conseil

 

5 June 2009 / le 5 juin 2009

 

Submitted by/Soumis par: Nancy Schepers,

Deputy City Manager/ Directrice munipale adjointe,

Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability/

Services d’infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités

 

Contact Person/Personne ressource : Dixon Weir, General Manager/Directeur général

Environmental Services Department/Services environnementaux

(613) 580-2424 x22002, Dixon.Weir@ottawa.ca

 

City Wide / à l'échelle de la Ville

Ref N°: ACS2009-ICS-WWS-0015

 

 

SUBJECT:

Review of the water, sanitary & storm rate structure

 

 

OBJET:

EXAMEN DE LA STRUCTURE de redevances d’eau, des eaux‑vannes et des eaux pluviales

 

 

REPORT RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Planning and Environment Committee receive this report for information purposes.

 

RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT

 

Que le Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement prenne connaisse du présent  rapport à titre d'information

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

The City is carrying out a Cost, Revenue and Rate Study in order to meet provincial regulations requiring the submission of a Council-approved Financial Plan for Ottawa’s drinking water system by 1 July 2010.  A Cost of Service Study was last completed for Drinking Water Operations in 1996, and has never been undertaken for sanitary and stormwater systems.  Accordingly, the study was expanded beyond regulatory requirements to include all three systems.

 

Consultants were retained to assist the City with this initiative in November 2008, and to date the following activities have been completed or underway:

 

·         Full cost accounting of drinking water, sanitary and stormwater services; and

·         Identification and evaluation of alternative rate structures to recover those costs.

 

The purpose of this report is to present interim findings, and to table a short-list of alternative rate structures to undergo public consultation from now until October.

 

In total, $319.3 million is identified in the approved 2009 Budget to deliver drinking water, sanitary and stormwater services and capital programs.  Approximately 75% of those costs are to be recovered through rates.  Other funding sources include development charges, debt financing and reserve funds.  Details regarding long-term funding requirements and financial management options will be presented in the fall.

 

Currently, the City uses a “volumetric” rate structure whereby users pay by the cubic metre purchased.  This rate structure is easy to understand and administer, but has shortcomings.  For example, there is not a direct relationship between costs incurred and volumes sold, yet revenues are directly tied to water sales.  This failing was identified by the Auditor General in his 2008 Review of the Water Rate, which recommends that the City consider adoption of “water rates based on a fixed meter charge plus a consumption charge as this will provide…a more predictable and stable cash flow.”

 

Accordingly, other commonly used rate structures were examined that would better enable the City to meet the following key rate setting objectives:

 

·         Revenue stability;

·         Improved rate fairness and defensibility;

·         Long-term financial flexibility and resiliency (healthy reserve funds);

·         Rate stability; and

·         Simple to understand and update.

 

The following rate structures were short-listed for public consultation, with Option B best meeting the above rate setting objectives:

 

·         Option A:  base plus volumetric charges applied to both drinking water and wastewater;

·         Option B:  base plus volumetric charge applied to drinking water and sanitary services; and the transfer of stormwater costs to a fee levied on the tax bill;

·         Option C:  base plus volumetric charge applied to drinking water and sanitary services; and the division of stormwater costs between serviced and unserviced areas of the city, with fees applied on the water and sewer bill and tax bill, respectively; and

·         Option D:  current rate structure—volumetric charge applied to water and wastewater, plus a fire charge fee.

 

The objective of adding a “base” charge to the water and sewer bill is to help ensure recovery of fixed costs that do not vary according to the volume of water or wastewater managed—i.e. a fee for access to the service (as does Hydro Ottawa).  The reason for breaking out stormwater costs from the sewer rate is because there is no relationship between the volume of water consumed and the amount of stormwater generated on a property.  The objective of dividing stormwater costs between the serviced and unserviced areas of the City is to better apportion costs where they are incurred.

 

With Council’s support of the tabled rate structures, staff will consult with the public between June and October.  Following public consultation, staff will table a preferred rate structure for consideration and approval by Council this fall.  This will allow for completion of this study and submission of the provincially mandated Financial Plan to the Ministry of Environment by mid 2010.

 

RÉSUMÉ

 

La Ville d’Ottawa effectue une étude du coût, des recettes et des redevances dans le but de se conformer aux règlements provinciaux exigeant la présentation d’un plan financier approuvé par le Conseil municipal concernant le réseau d’eau potable de la Ville d’ici le 1er juillet 2010. La dernière étude portant sur les coûts des services relativement à l’eau potable a été réalisée en 1996. Aucune étude n’a été effectuée concernant la gestion des eaux-vannes et des eaux pluviales. En conséquence, la portée de l’étude a été étendue au‑delà des exigences réglementaires afin d’inclure les trois réseaux.

 

En novembre 2008, la Ville a retenu les services de consultants pour la guider dans cette initiative. À ce jour, les tâches suivantes ont été réalisées ou sont en cours de réalisation :

 

·         évaluation complète des coûts liés aux services de gestion de l’eau potable, des eaux‑vannes et des eaux pluviales;

·         sélection et évaluation d’autres structures de redevances pour recouvrer ces coûts.

 

Ce rapport vise à présenter les résultats provisoires ainsi qu’une brève sélection de structures différentes de redevances afin de mener une consultation publique débutant maintenant et se poursuivant jusqu’en octobre.

 

Un montant total de 319,3 millions de dollars du budget approuvé de 2009 a été affecté à la prestation de services d’eau potable et d’égouts ainsi qu’aux programmes d’immobilisations. Les redevances devraient permettre de récupérer environ 75 % de ces coûts. Les redevances d’aménagement, le financement par emprunt et les réserves de fonds constituent les autres sources de financement. Des précisions concernant les exigences de financement à long terme ainsi que les options de gestion financière seront fournies cet automne.

 

La Ville utilise actuellement une structure de redevances « volumétrique » selon laquelle la consommation des utilisateurs est facturée au mètre cube. Cette structure de redevances est facile à comprendre et à administrer, mais elle présente des inconvénients. Par exemple, il n’existe pas de rapport direct entre les coûts engagés et les volumes vendus. Pourtant, les revenus sont directement liés à la vente des services d’eau. Cette lacune a été soulevée par le vérificateur général dans la Vérification de la redevance d'eau de la Ville d'Ottawa effectuée en 2008. Celui-ci recommande que la Ville envisage d’établir « des redevances d'eau basées sur une facturation fixe au compteur et une facturation à la consommation, ce qui fournirait […] un flux de trésorerie plus prévisible et plus stable ».

 

En conséquence, d’autres structures de redevances courantes ont été étudiées. Ces structures pourraient mieux aider la Ville à atteindre les principaux objectifs suivants en matière de redevance :

 

·         stabilité des revenus,

·         Augmentation de l’équité et validité des taux de redevances en fonction de la TPS sur la prestation de service,

·         flexibilité et résilience financière à long terme (réserve solide de fonds),

·         stabilité des taux,

·         facilité de compréhension et de mise à jour.

 

Les structures de redevances suivantes ont été retenues aux fins d’une consultation publique, l’option B étant celle qui répond le mieux aux objectifs énoncés ci-dessus :

 

·         Option A : frais fixes et frais selon le volume appliqués aux services de gestion de l’eau potable et des eaux usées;

·         Option B : frais fixes et frais selon le volume appliqués aux services de gestion de l’eau potable et des eaux‑vannes; transférer les coûts relatifs à la gestion des eaux pluviales à des frais présentés sur la facture de taxes;

·         Option C : frais fixes et frais selon le volume appliqués aux services de gestion de l’eau potable et des eaux‑vannes, répartition des coûts relatifs à la gestion des eaux pluviales entre les régions desservies et non desservies de la ville, les frais étant reportés respectivement sur la facture des services d’eau et d’égouts et la facture de taxes;

·         Option D : structure de redevances actuelle — frais selon le volume appliqués aux services de gestion de l’eau potable et des eaux usées, auxquels s’ajoute une redevance d'eau-incendies.

 

L’ajout de frais fixes à la facture des services d’eau et d’égouts vise à assurer le recouvrement des coûts qui ne varient pas en fonction du volume d’eau ou d’eaux usées géré (c.-à-d. des frais d’accès au service, comme l’exige Hydro Ottawa). Les coûts relatifs aux eaux pluviales sont dissociés des redevances d’égout parce qu’il n’y a pas de relation entre le volume d’eau consommé et la quantité d’eaux pluviales recueillie sur une propriété. Enfin, la répartition des coûts relatifs à la gestion des eaux pluviales entre les régions desservies et non desservies de la ville vise mieux répartir les coûts là où ils sont engagés.

 

Le Conseil municipal ayant approuvé les structures de redevance présentées, le personnel mènera une consultation publique entre les mois de juin et d’octobre. À la suite de cette consultation, le personnel présentera la structure de redevances privilégiée aux fins d’évaluation et d’approbation par le Conseil municipal. Cette démarche permettra de terminer cette étude et de soumettre le plan financier prescrit par la province au ministère de l’Environnement d’ici le milieu de l’année 2010.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

Project Objectives

 

The purpose of the Cost, Revenue and Rate Study (CRR) is to identify short and long-term costs to deliver drinking water, sanitary and stormwater services in Ottawa, and to determine how best to recover those costs over time.  Specifically, the study is to achieve the following key objectives:

 

  1. To determine the full cost to plan, design, operate, maintain, renew and replace existing water, sanitary and stormwater systems at current levels of service over the next 50 years;
  2. To identify potential incremental costs associated with growth, and regulatory and technical changes;
  3. To confirm the principles to be applied to ensure revenue and rate stability, such as the appropriate mix of funding sources, target reserve balances and identification of works appropriate for debt financing;
  4. To determine a preferred rate structure in consultation with internal and external stakeholders; and
  5. To prepare a ten-year Financial Plan for the drinking water system that meets the requirements of Ontario Regulation 453/07 under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 for approval and submission to the Province by July 2010; and, to prepare a plan for the sanitary and stormwater systems that meet the same requirements.

 

The purpose of this report is to table options for addressing the fourth item, with details regarding long-term revenue requirements and financial management options to be presented in the fall.

 

Regulatory and Policy Context

 

Several regulatory and non-regulatory matters have influenced the design, timing and completion of this study.

 

Ontario Regulation 453/07 requires municipalities to submit a Council-approved Financial Plan for their drinking water systems no later than July 2010.  In preparing the Plan, municipalities must demonstrate that funds collected through rates and other revenue sources will allow for the sustainable planning, design, operation, maintenance and renewal of their drinking water system(s) over time.  This project is designed to meet all regulatory requirements.

 

The intent and direction of the City’s 2007 Fiscal Framework is almost identical to those of the regulation.  For example, key City objectives and guiding principles include:

 

·         Capital assets are maintained and/or replaced using models of best economy;

·         Capital and operating costs for water and sewer to be 100 per cent recovered;

·         Sufficient revenues are raised to fund operations, while maintaining appropriate levels of debt and equity;

·         Equity (reserves) provides flexibility to respond to economic cycles and manage financial risk;

·         Financial decisions based on a multi-year forecast;

·         Changes in user fees to be transparent; and

·         Recovery rates for services to consider…extent of private, commercial and community benefit (including environmental considerations).

 

These objectives are mirrored in the rate setting objectives of this study, and directly influenced the evaluation of alternative rate structures.

 

The Auditor General 2008 Report Review of the City’s Water Rate makes several recommendations regarding the financial management of Ottawa’s drinking water system that are being addressed through the study, including the following.

 

That the City:

·         Establish “water rates based on a fixed meter charge plus a consumption charge as this will provide…a more predictable and stable cash flow”;

·         Review “the method for establishing fire protection costs”;

·         “Undertake a cost of service study which would include a detailed asset management study”;

·         Revise “the water rate to ensure full cost recovery”; and

·         “Prepare an integrated asset management plan that addresses (the question)…Are the Reserve Fund balances sufficient?”

 

The Tangible Capital Asset Reporting (TCAR) Implementation Project is designed to ensure that municipalities, including Ottawa, comply with new financial statement and asset reporting requirements set out in Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) Standards 3150 and 1200.[1]  This project builds on TCAR by completing life cycle analysis and forecasting capital renewal and replacement costs over the next fifty years.

 

The Development Charges By-law Review & Update identifies growth-related infrastructure and the amount to be paid via development charges.  The new by-law is to be adopted by Council by July 2009, at which time the percentage of growth costs to be covered by development charges will be known.  This will determine the amount to be recovered through other revenue sources such as rates, and influence the Financial Plan to be completed later this year.

 

2009 Budgeted Costs and Revenues

 

The short-listed rate structures were compared and evaluated using the 2009 Budget as a base.  The total budget for drinking water, sanitary and stormwater services in 2009 is $319.3 million.  Figures 1, 2 and 3 illustrate the costs in each service area; how those costs are distributed over operating, capital, debt and support services (e.g. planning, engineering and legal); and, illustrate how service costs are to be funded via different revenue sources.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

As charges for municipal drinking water and wastewater services are levied on one invoice and use the same rate structure, review of the structure entailed consideration of both systems.  Furthermore, as the City’s Fiscal Framework applies equally to drinking water and wastewater systems, it was decided to use the opportunity presented by Ontario Regulation 453/07 to carryout comprehensive financial analysis and planning for all three service areas:  drinking water, sanitary and stormwater.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rate Setting Objectives

 

The following rate setting priorities were established for this study and reflect key objectives of the 2007 Fiscal Framework.

 

 

 

Revenue Stability – The rate structure should provide for a steady and predictable stream of revenues to the City.

 

Improved Transparency and Defensibility – The rate structure should be consistent with the rate setting methodologies provided by Ontario Water Works Association (OWWA), applicable laws and city precedents in order to ensure that rates are defensible if challenged in court.

 

Long-term Financial Flexibility and Resiliency – The rate structure should adequately recover, separately, the costs associated with providing drinking water, sanitary and stormwater services, including enough revenues to achieve the reserve levels required to address infrastructure renewal and replacement needs over time, in compliance with corporate debt financing principles.

 

Stable Rates – The rate structure should minimize dramatic rate increases or decreases over the planning period.

 

Simple to Understand and Update – The rate structure should be easy for ratepayers and taxpayers to understand.  In addition, the rate structure should allow for effective maintenance by City staff in future years.

 

Other important principles that were considered in the evaluation of options included the following:

 

·         Adverse financial impacts to each customer group should be minimized;

·         Rates should be affordable within the Ottawa economic climate; and

·         Rates should discourage wasteful consumption and discharge practices.

 

Alternative Rate Structures

 

Evaluation against the above rate setting objectives yielded the following short-listed options for public consultation, with Option B best meeting the objectives.


Table 1:  Short-listed Rate Structure Options

Service

Rate Structure

Option A

Base + Volumetric

Option B

B+V plus City-wide Tax

Option C

B+V plus

Rural Tax

Option D

Current Structure

Drinking Water

Base Charge

ü   

ü   

ü   

 

Volumetric Charge

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

Sanitary

Base Charge

ü   

ü   

ü   

 

Volumetric Charge

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

Stormwater

Incl. in water and sewer bill

ü   

 

ü   

ü   

Stormwater Tax

 

ü   

Those not receiving water and sewer bill[2]

 

 

Under the Current Structure, the City applies a “volumetric” charge whereby customers pay a fixed rate for every cubic metre of drinking water purchased ($1.264/m3) plus a fire service charge. Wastewater costs are also recovered using a volumetric rate on the assumption that discharges roughly equal the amount of water purchased (100% surcharge).[3]  Stormwater management costs are recovered via the sewer rate.

 

Option A differs from the Current Structure in that it introduces a “base” charge, which would recover a portion of the fixed costs incurred by the City that have no relationship to the volume of water purchased--for example, customer and billing service costs.  Customers would be charged a fixed amount based upon the size of their water service line, and then an additional amount per cubic metre metered.  This “base plus volumetric” approach provides for greater revenue stability by ensuring minimum revenues per customer.

 

Approximately 75% of the City’s 2009 water and wastewater costs are projected to be funded via rates per the 2009 Budget.  In 2008, water and sewer bill revenues fell short from budget projections by approximately 3.3% ($7.31 million) due to a decline in projected water sales.  As pointed out in the Auditor General’s 2008 Report, the current rate structure is vulnerable to fluctuations in water demand and a “fixed meter charge plus a consumption charge” (i.e. base plus volumetric) approach would help to ensure recovery of fixed costs.

 

Option B also introduces a base charge, but differs from Option A by removing an inequity that has sanitary service ratepayers funding the full cost of stormwater services, which are delivered on a City-wide basis, i.e. greater defensibility.  Currently, anyone in the City not paying a sewer bill is receiving stormwater and related environmental services free of charge.[4]  This includes all rural property owners, as well as those with private septic systems in areas receiving municipal water service.  Under Option B, stormwater costs would be removed from the water and sewer bill and levied on the tax bill.

 

Option C differs from Option B in that stormwater costs would be divided and levied on a cost for service basis, generally along the lines of urban and rural.  Everyone receiving a water and sewer bill would be charged a fee for stormwater costs incurred in the serviced area.  Everyone not receiving a water and sewer bill would be levied a charge on the assessment portion of their property tax for stormwater costs incurred in the unserviced areas of the City.  The following are key drawbacks against this approach:

 

·         Stormwater run-off is a function of the size of a property and its permeability (lot coverage).  These factors better correlate to property value than water consumption, and should be applied equally amongst all property owners—both urban and rural.  Moving towards an assessment-based approach allows for the migration of rates to a lot size and coverage approach over time, and will improve fairness in the interim.

·         Tenants often pay water and sewer bills.  A single property may have a few or scores of tenants.  It would be difficult to set a stormwater rate on the water and sewer bill that ensured equity amongst ratepayers, and between ratepayers and taxpayers.

·         There are significant administrative constraints to dividing the tax base into “serviced” and “unserviced” areas as there are numerous exceptions across the City.

 

Other rate structures and features that were considered included the following.

 

Flat Fees – A fixed rate is charged, independent of usage (e.g. City of Gatineau).

 

Inclining/Declining Block Rates – Volumetric charges can also vary according to the amount, or “blocks”, of usage.  Under declining block rates, the per unit rate would decrease as the volume increased (e.g. City of Toronto).

 

Fees and Charges per Customer Class – Several rate structures can be refined to allocate specific costs among different customer classes to allow for greater “user pay.”  Customer classes can be defined along different lines, for example:  a) residential, commercial, industrial; b) inside the Greenbelt, outside the Greenbelt; c) by water pressure zones or sewer catchment areas.

 

Stormwater Specific Rates – Other methods for recovering stormwater costs were considered including:

·         Property tax through the surface operations budgets; and

·         Property-based fees based on an assessment of the impervious area or property size.

 

In summary, none of the above options achieved the current rate setting objectives of the City to the same degree as those short-listed.  More information regarding alternative rate structures and rate setting objectives is contained in Attachment A to the report.

 

Customer Impact Analysis

 

The cost implications of the short-listed four options were analyzed for key user groups using the 2009 Budget, with the following results:

Table 2:  Comparison[5] of Average Monthly Charges for

Different Rate Structures

Service

Option A

Base + Volumetric

Option B

B+V plus

City-wide Tax[6]

Option C

B+V plus

Rural Tax

Option D

Status Quo

AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY (consumption 18m3/month;  >30% of customer accts.)

Drinking Water

$24.60

$24.45

$24.60

$25.39

Sanitary

$23.57

$17.37

$22.56

$22.75

Stormwater

Incl. in Sanitary

$6.19

Incl. in Sanitary

Incl. in Sanitary

Monthly Total

$48.17

$48.01

$47.16

$48.14

AVERAGE HIGH DENSITY RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY (consumption 625m3/month)

Drinking Water

$723.92

$785.13

$752.82

$808.79

Sanitary

701.62

$560.73

$671.26

$790.00

Stormwater

Incl. in Sanitary

$88.79

Incl. in Sanitary

Incl. in Sanitary

Monthly Total

$1,454.

$1,434.65

$1,424.08

$1,598.79

AVG. LOW CONSUMPTION COMMERCIAL PROPERTY  (780m3/month; < 2% of customers)

Drinking Water

$87.45

$87.42

$87.45

$86.85

Sanitary

$83.52

$62.15

$79.94

$82.16

Stormwater

Incl. in Sanitary

$34.78

Incl. in Sanitary

Incl. in Sanitary

Monthly Total

$170.98

$184.36

$167.39

$169.01

AVG. HIGH CONSUMPTION COMMERCIAL PROPERTY (42,000m3/month; < 1% of customers)

Drinking Water

$4,723.65

$4,716.58

$4,723.65

$4,541.45

Sanitary

$4,514.29

$3,352.54

$4,320.67

$4,424.00

Stormwater

Incl. in Sanitary

$217.40

Incl. in Sanitary

Incl. in Sanitary

Monthly Total

$9,237.94

$8,286.52

$9,044.32

$8,965.45

AVG. UNSERVICED PROPERTY (private well and/or private septic)

Drinking Water

$0

$0

$0

$0

Sanitary

$0

$0

$0

$0

Stormwater

$0

$6.19

$10.39

$0

Monthly Total

$0

$6.19

$10.39

$0

                                                         Refer to Attachment B for theoretical rates and impacts to other customer groups.

                                                                                                              The Fire Service Fee is included in the new base rate.

 

Under all three Options A, B and C, most ratepayers and taxpayers would experience minimal change or a reduction in their monthly charges, with the following two exceptions:

·         Those in unserviced areas of the City; and

·         Low water consumers (<10m3/month).

 

As noted previously, those who do not currently pay a water and sewer bill[7] are receiving stormwater and related environmental management services at no costs.  Under Option B, total stormwater costs are levied across the City on an assessment value basis.  Under Option C, urban stormwater costs are born by those paying a water and sewer bill; and rural stormwater costs are born by those outside the service area on their tax bill.  Under both scenarios, landowners in unserviced areas of the City would have a new stormwater charge added to the assessment portion of their tax bill to cover the cost of services they currently receive for free.

 

Customers with very low average monthly water consumption (<10m3/month) would experience an increase in their total water and sewer bill of approximately $4.12 - $6.00 per month (depending upon the rate option and their actual usage.)[8]  This reflects the additional cost they would pay to cover their fair share of the fixed costs for providing drinking water and sanitary sewer services.  These increases would be experienced by up to 20% of water and sewer customers.  Under Option B the property owner would pay an additional $6.19 per month in property taxes to cover stormwater costs.  Under Option C, rural property owners would pay on average $10.39 per month for stormwater services.

 

These increases are considered to be defensible, and would not unfairly affect low-income households.  Assuming an average household income of $20,000 for low-income earners, those consuming less than 10m3 per month would pay less than 2% of their annual income on the combined services of drinking water, sanitary and stormwater.  Industry benchmarks suggest that municipal water and sewer bills are affordable if they constitute less than 4% of the mean household income of a community.  The mean after-tax household income in the City of Ottawa in 2005 was $68,288 (Source:  2006 Census).  Accordingly, all Options A, B, C or D meet industry affordability benchmarks.

 

Recommended Consultation Plan

 

Staff recommends that the Communication Plan in Attachment C be used to inform and consult with the public regarding potential changes to the rate structure, with a preferred approach adopted by Council this fall for implementation commencing 2011.  This will allow for the finalization, adoption and submission of the Financial Plan to the Province by 1 July 2010 using the rate structure approved by Council.

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS

 

The purpose of carrying out this study is to ensure sustainable funding for essential infrastructure that is designed, operated and replaced over time to protect natural resources and public health.

 

 


RURAL IMPLICATIONS

 

As set out above, depending upon the rate structure chosen, landowners lying outside of serviced areas may be charged for stormwater services that they currently receive at no cost.  The average cost on their tax bill could range from approximately $74 to $125 per year depending upon the approach taken.

 

 

CONSULTATION

 

Due to the wide reaching implications of this study on several groups within the City, consultation to date has focused internally.   Attachment C contains the Consultation Plan for this study, with public consultation commencing with the issuance of this interim report on rates.

 

 

LEGAL/RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS:

 

There are no legal/risk management impediments to receiving this report.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

There are no current financial implications as a result of this report.  Impacts to ratepayers and the total water bill are outlined in Table 2.  Subject to public consultation and Council’s approval, a future report will outline financial implications to the City.

 

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

 

Document 1 – Technical Memoranda: Rate Setting

Document 2 – Ratepayer & Taxpayer Impact Analysis

Document 3 – Communication Plan

 

 

DISPOSITION

 

That Environmental Services Department continue to carry out this study in consultation with the public.

 


Document 1

Technical Memoranda: Rate Setting

 

n  1031 S. Caldwell Street

       Suite 100

       Charlotte • NC • 28203

     

n   Phone   704 • 373 • 1199

      Fax      704 • 373 • 1113

n   www.raftelis.com

 

T E C H N I C A L     M E M O R A N D U M

 

To:                  Sally McIntyre

Steering Committee for Water and Wastewater Services Rate Study

 

From:                         Leta Hals of Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc.

 

Date:               May 22, 2009

 

RE:                 Water, Sewer, and Stormwater Rate Design

 

 

 


This technical memorandum provides: an overview of different water and wastewater rate structures and trends in the industry; RFC’s assessment of the pricing objectives of the City of Ottawa’s Water and Wastewater Services Branch (“W & WW Services”); and a discussion of how well different rate structures meet the City’s pricing objectives for water and wastewater services.

 

Rate Structures and Industry Trends

 

There are a variety of water and wastewater rate structures in use across North America.  Generally speaking, most of these structures fit into one or more of the following categories: 

 

Flat fees:  A flat fee is assessed, independent of usage.  This fee may also vary by meter size or other characteristic such as number of fixture units.  Generally speaking, the industry is moving away from flat fees as rate and cost of service studies indicate better ways of distributing costs to customers based upon their respective burdens on the system.  It is more likely, though still not common, for stand-alone wastewater utilities to have flat fees.

 

Volumetric charge:  A charge is assessed based upon metered usage.  The rate structures of most utilities across North American incorporate some type of volumetric rate; however, most also incorporate a base component.

 

Base plus volumetric charge:  A base charge is assessed, typically per meter size, on each customer bill.  In addition, a volumetric charge is also assessed based upon metered usage.  Most of the larger utilities in North America have a base and volumetric charge structure and this trend is growing.  In addition to the volumetric cost burden, there is the recognition that each customer places a “base” impact on the system in terms of billing, meter services, overhead and infrastructure, irrespective of usage.  Utilities also recognize that a base charge component also provides for a more reliable revenue stream. 

 

Within this type of structure, there are two methods of structuring the volumetric charge:

 

·         Uniform rates:  The volumetric charge per unit (cubic meter, hundred cubic feet, 1,000 gallons, etc.) is the same regardless of the level of usage.  The uniform rate structure is the most prevalent water and wastewater rate structure because it is easy to understand and implement and ties relatively well with cost of service.  Wastewater utilities in particular frequently have uniform rates.

 

·         Inclining/declining block rates:  Volumetric charges can also vary according to the amount, or “blocks”, of usage.  Under declining block rates, the per unit rate would decrease as the volume increased.  This type of structure is typically used to represent the commodity nature water, and that larger users may place less cost on the system on a per unit basis.  Although there are a fair number of utilities with this type of structure, there has been a decline in popularity in recent years due to a greater focus on conservation.  Utilities with this type of structure may want to attract large industry to their area for economic reasons.

 

Under inclining block rates, the per unit rate would increase as the volume increased.  This type of structure is considered a “conservation” rate structure and is typically used by communities with water shortage issues to represent the burden on the source of supply placed by larger users and/or users with widely varying demands.  A fair number of water utilities utilize this type of structure, and its popularity is increasing, particularly in the western United States, as more utilities struggle with water supply issues.  Inclining block rates are not very prevalent among wastewater utilities.

 

Fees and Charges per Customer Class:  Most rate structures can also be fine tuned to further allocate the costs to different customer classes.  Customer classes can be defined according to different customer types (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.), different pressure zones or other geographic areas, the type of service provided (water, sewer, stormwater), or other type of specific characteristic.  Other than differentiating between service type, most utilities do not differentiate between customer classes outside of the rate structures previously discussed (e.g., the base charge may vary by meter size, or block structures may differentiate per usage level).  However, a notable amount of utilities do have different rate structures for different customer classes, often to fine tune the cost impact of specific segments of the customer base or to meet other pricing, economic, or other community objectives.

 

Stormwater Specific Rates:  In North America, there are a wide variety of mechanisms for recovering stormwater costs.  In the past, cities used tax revenues for stormwater management, generally through the street department budgets.  Once the costs of stormwater management started to increase due to stormwater permitting regulations, cities started implementing separate user fee structures for stormwater.  The use of property-based fees, based on an assessment of the impervious area is a common method of charging for stormwater.  However, the basis for the stormwater fees can also include: gross area, water use, flat fee, property value/characteristics, etc.  Stormwater fees are typically recovered on water and sewer bills, but are also recovered by utilities on tax bills or other types of mechanisms.

 

Pricing Objectives

 

In determining which structure, or blend of structures is the most appropriate for a utility, a utility should first identify its pricing objectives.  After working extensively with City staff, both internal and external to the W & WW Services Branch, we have identified the following pricing objectives for the City’s water and wastewater rates:

 

Primary Pricing Objectives

 

·         Long-Term Financial Flexibility and Resiliency:  The rate structure should adequately recover, separately, the costs associated with providing both water and wastewater service, including enough revenues to generate appropriate reserve levels.

·         Rate Stability:  The rate structure should minimize dramatic rate increases or decreases over the planning period.

·         Transparency and Defensibility:  The rate structure should be consistent with the rate setting methodologies provided by AWWA and applicable laws, in order to ensure that rates are transparent and defensible if challenged in court.

·         Revenue Stability:  The rate structure should provide for a steady and predictable stream of revenues to the Water and Wastewater Services Branch.

 

Other Important Pricing Objectives

 

·         Stormwater Based Cost of Service Allocation:  The rate structure should recover separately the costs associated with providing storm water service.

·         Simple to Understand and Update (Complexity):  The rate structure should be easy for City customers to understand, utilizing a moderate level of educational tools.  In addition, the rate structure should be able to be effectively maintained by City staff in future years.

·         Conservation/Demand Management:  The rate structure should encourage water conservation as well as assist in managing system demand.

·         Equitability by Customer Type:  The rate structure should ensure that separate customer types are contributing equitably towards revenue requirements based upon the costs of providing service to each customer type.  Customer types can be defined according to customer classes (e.g., residential, commercial, industrial), geographic areas (e.g. pressure zones, communal systems) or some other distinguishing customer characteristic.

·         Minimization of Customer Impacts:  The rate structure should be developed such that adverse rate impacts on different customer types are minimized.

 

Comparison of Pricing Objectives with Current and Alternative Rate Structures

 

To determine the most appropriate rate structure, the various types of rate structures are compared against the pricing objectives to determine which structure most satisfies the objectives.  One must recognize that often times one or more pricing objectives may compete or be in direct contrast with another.  Ultimately, the objective is to identify the structure that best meets the primary pricing objectives while taking into consideration as many of the other pricing objectives as possible. 

 

RFC has the following observations regarding rate structures and how well they relate to the City’s pricing objectives:

 

Flat fees:  Although a flat fee for all customers would certainly provide revenue and rate stability, this type of structure is not defensible from a cost of service perspective.

 

Volumetric charge:  The City’s fire supply charge is similar to a base charge, but since it is relatively small, the City’s current rate structure acts most like a volumetric only rate structure.  Although the current structure is generally supportable, there is room for improvement.[9]  Since all but a small portion of revenues vary directly with usage, there is little guaranteed revenue stability, which in turn can affect a utility’s long-term financial flexibility and resiliency.  Furthermore, the defensibility of a volume only structure could be challenged given that each customer places cost burden on the system, irrespective of their usage. 

 

Base plus volumetric charge:   This type of rate structure provides a more stable revenue stream and assigns a certain portion of costs to each customer, regardless of usage.  In doing so, the City’s pricing objectives of revenue stability, long-term financial flexibility and resiliency, and defensibility can be enhanced.  One consideration, however, is initial implementation of a base charge will have impacts on certain customer groups.

 

·         Uniform rates:  Considering the City’s other pricing objectives, RFC believes a uniform volumetric rate is the most appropriate in the short-term.  A uniform volumetric rate is simple to understand and update and typically leads to more stable rates compared with block-type volumetric structures. [10]

 

·         Inclining/declining block rates:  All block-type volumetric rates are more complex and should be cautiously undertaken if they are driven by clear pricing objectives.  As economic development was not considered a driving objective, declining block rates do not appear to fit the City’s objectives.  Inclining block rates would meet the City’s objective for conservation/demand management.  However, given that this type of structure is less revenue and rate stable and is more complex and difficult to implement, RFC would suggest reconsideration of this rate structure in the future.

 

Fees and Charges per Customer Class:  One type of customer class distinction is between service type (water vs. sewer vs. stormwater).  Generally speaking, the current structure differentiates between water and wastewater (wastewater rate assessed as a surcharge on the water rate).  However, RFC recommends the calculation of separate water, sewer, and stormwater charges, particularly given the long-terms financial flexibility and resiliency and storm water based cost of service allocation objectives.  RFC further recommends the consideration of alternate methods for assessment of a stormwater charge to better align the assessment of stormwater charges to those who benefit from stormwater services.  

 

With the exception of rates per service type, rate differentiation per other customer class distinctions typically adds complexity to the rate structure and can decrease revenue and rate stability.  Furthermore, a base charge per meter size, combined with the volumetric charge, inherently provides a level of equitability by customer type.  Given that there did not seem to be any other drivers for further differentiation between customer classes, RFC does not see the benefits of adding additional rate complexity.  This issue, however, should be reviewed in the future as other factors affecting the pricing objectives could change the importance of differentiating between customer classes.

 

Based upon the assessment of the City’s pricing objectives for water and sewer rates, RFC recommends a base plus uniform volumetric charge structure, assessed separately for water and sewer services.  RFC recommends further investigation and consideration of the recovery of stormwater costs through the sewer charges, or the development of a separate stormwater charge assessed through an alternate mechanism, such as impervious service area or per property value on the City tax bill. 

 


Document 2

Ratepayer & Taxpayer Impact Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Document 3

Communication Plan

 

 

Communication Plan

 

Cost, Revenue & Rate Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRAFT

 

May 25, 2009

 

Strategic & Environmental Services Division

 

 

 

1.         Project Objectives

 

The following is a selection of the key project objectives for the Cost, Revenue & Rate Study:

 

·         To determine the full cost to plan, operate, and maintain in operating condition the existing water, wastewater and storm water systems at current levels of service over 50 years commencing 2010, analyzed according to: capital and operating budgets, direct and indirect costs, communal and central systems, inside and outside the Greenbelt and rural, peak and average supply requirements, and by customer billing class.

·         Confirm the average annual capital requirement over the 50-year period and to identify a minimum Reserve Fund balance for each system in 2010 dollars based upon capital needs identified by the City.

·         To determine the incremental full cost to service growth, at current levels of service, over the period 2010-2031 based the updated Official Plan, scheduled for approval February 2009.

·         To determine how those levels of service might change over time, particularly in response to requirements under the Clean Water Act, S.O. 2006 or to address Council priorities that exceed regulatory requirements, e.g. combined sewer flow capture greater than required by Procedure F-5-5.

·         To document the capital and operating budget requirements for the ten-year period commencing fiscal year 2010.

·         To identify and assess alternative revenue sources for each system, and to determine the most appropriate mix of funding sources that allows for full cost recovery, in consultation with internal and external stakeholders.

·         To identify and assess alternative rate structures, particularly those employed by municipalities of similar profile and characteristics.

·         To determine the most appropriate rate structure for implementation commencing fiscal year 2010, in consultation with internal and external stakeholders.

 

2.         Rate Setting Objectives & Issues

 

A key output of this study is a rate structure that will sustain the City over time.  Rate setting involves the balancing of different and sometimes divergent priorities.  The rate setting objectives set out in Table 1 will not have the same weight with amongst all stakeholders.  A key objective of this Consultation Plan is to ensure that stakeholders are provided with the information required to: understand the challenges involved; provide informed input during the consultation process; and to accept changes that may be required to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the City’s water, wastewater, and storm water systems.

 


 

Table 1:  Rate Setting Objectives / Issues

 

Long-Term Financial Sufficiency

The rate structure should adequately recover, separately, the costs associated with providing both water and wastewater service, including enough revenues to generate appropriate reserve levels.

Rate Stability

The rate structure should minimize dramatic rate increases or decreases over the planning period.

Minimization of Customer Impacts

The rate structure should be developed such that adverse rate impacts on different customer types are minimized.

Equitability by Customer Type

The rate structure should ensure that separate customer types are contributing equitably towards revenue requirements based upon the costs of providing service to each customer type.  Customer types can be defined according to customer classes (e.g., residential, commercial, industrial), geographic areas (e.g. pressure zones, communal systems) or some other distinguishing customer characteristic.

Economic Development

The rate structure should incorporate a preferential rate that may be used to attract economic development to Ottawa.

Affordability to Disadvantaged Customers

The rate structure should incorporate practices or procedures that help ensure that economically disadvantaged customers can afford water and wastewater service.

Simple to Understand and Update

The rate structure should be easy for City customers to understand, utilizing a moderate level of educational tools.  In addition, the rate structure should be able to be effectively maintained by City staff in future years.

Ease of Implementation

The rate structure should be compatible with the City’s billing system.  In addition, the rate structure should allow for the continuation of existing management and system reports.

Defensibility

The rate structure should be consistent with the rate setting methodologies provided by AWWA and applicable laws, in order to ensure that rates are defensible if challenged in court.

Revenue Stability

The rate structure should provide for a steady and predictable stream of revenues to the Water and Wastewater Services Branch.

Conservation/Demand Management

The rate structure should encourage water conservation as well as assist in managing system demand.

Storm Water Based Cost of Service Allocation

The rate structure should recover separately the costs associated with providing storm water service.

 


 

3.         Communication Objectives

 

·         All stakeholders are made aware of the project.

·         Stakeholders are provided information in a timely manner to allow for effective input into the decision-making process.

·         Information that is provided is unbiased, easy to understand, and stakeholder specific.

·         Sufficient historical and contextual information is provided to allow for informed input.

·         Stakeholder feedback is appropriately considered by the project team, and communicated to Council.

·         There is broad scale understanding and acceptance of any changes in rates and the rate structure that may result from this study.

 

4.         Stakeholders

 

This project has the potential to affect all residents, businesses, and institutions in the City of Ottawa.  Due to the manner in which they could be affected, they are grouped as follows:

 

·         Residential water-sewer ratepayers

·         Commercial water-sewer ratepayers

·         High Volume Users

·         Rural, suburban, and urban landowners

·         Business organizations

·         Taxpayer organizations

·         Environmental organizations

·         Fixed and low income organizations

·         Community associations

·         The land development community

·         The property management community

·         Councillors

·         City staff

·         Media

 

5.         Communication Tools

 

A variety of communication tools can be used, as listed below.  Table 2 identifies which tools may be used for the various stakeholder groups.

 

·         Bill inserts.

·         E-mail notices to those with electronic billing.

·         Notices in community newspapers and major dailies.

·         Public Service Announcements.

·         Press Release.

·         Information articles for community newspapers—short article for easy publication.

·         Briefing Notes—1 page summary for internal use.

·         Direct mail to specific groups.

·         Small targeted group consultations / briefing sessions—no more than 20, focusing on issues of particular concern to that group.

·         Public Open Houses / Information Sessions—widely publicized, open to all, with brief presentation and information panels.

·         Public Meetings—formal PEC and/or CS&EDC, with delegations from the public.

·         Technical Memo on rate setting options and practices elsewhere.

·         Technical Memo on financial trends and pressures in water & wastewater industry, detailing current growth, use, and financing of Ottawa’s water, wastewater, and drainage systems.

·         Technical Memo setting out preferred approach.

·         Staff Report to Committee summarizes entire project with recommendations for adoption.

·         Web site, with the above, and Q&A.

 

 

Table 2:  Communication Tools by Stakeholder Group

 

 

Residential water-sewer ratepayers

Commercial water-sewer ratepayers

High Volume Users

Landowners

Business organizations

Taxpayer organizations

Environmental organizations

Fixed and low income groups

Community associations

Development community

Property managers

Councillors

City staff

Media

Bill inserts

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E-mail notices

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Notices

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

x

Public Service Announcements

x

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

Press Release

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

Information articles

x

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

Briefing Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

x

 

Direct mail

 

 

 

 

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

 

Targeted sessions

 

 

 

 

 

x

x

x

 

x

x

x

x

 

Public Open Houses

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

x

Public (PEC) Meetings

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

x

Green Papers

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

White Paper

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Web Site

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

 


 

6.         Work Plan

 

The Work Plan illustrated in Table 3 assumes the following overall approach:

 

·         Table short-listed rate structures at PEC with supporting background documents in June using existing operating and capital data, and preliminary “O&M Gap” and Development Charges information.

·         Allow June through September for stakeholder input, including one-on-one meetings with interested groups and a Public Open House.

·         Report back to PEC in December regarding the results of public consultation, and with final costing data projected out 50 years.  Obtain Council approval in January on the rate structure.

·         Prepare Financial Plan based upon final outcome of January meeting, and obtain PEC and Council approval early May 2010.

 

 

 


Table 3:  Communications Work Plan

 

Activity / Date

March

April

May

June

July

Aug

September

October

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Preliminary Rate Modeling Completed (10 years of data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Rate Modeling Completed (50 years of data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Technical Memo 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Develop, approve, translate

 

 

 

 

Contain all background information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Publish to web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Publish/Distribute Notice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Comment period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Targeted sessions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Estb. room(s) & date(s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Prepare materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Event(s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

Meetings w stakeholder groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Public Open Houses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Estb. room(s) & date(s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Publish/Distribute Notice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Develop, approve, translate materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Technical Memos 2 & 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Develop, approve, translate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final details and rates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Publish to web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Publish/Distribute Notice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Comment period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Public Meetings (PEC & CS&ESC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Draft Staff Rpt

 

 

 

 

Table Rate Structures

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Rate Structure

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Financial Plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Approval & Translation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Publish/Distribute Notice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

C

 

 


 

Activity / Date

March

April

May

June

July

Aug

September

October

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Preliminary Rate Modeling Completed (10 years of data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Rate Modeling Completed (50 years of data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Web Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

§  Develop, approve, translate