Padre Dam’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a zero percent revenue increase for the District’s water and wastewater operations over the next five years - for Fiscal Years 2023-2027. The decision to adopt this approach to not increase revenue for the next five year period was based on the Board’s desire to minimize customer rate impacts as well as the District’s strong financial position of the water and wastewater operation funds.
“In this time of excessive inflation, the ability to achieve revenue neutrality for our customers is indeed a great win for us all,” commented Board President Bill Pommering. “I am proud of the successful efforts of the District’s staff and my fellow Board members that have allowed for our well positioned ability to minimize customer rate impacts for the next five years while continuing to meet the needs of our systems.”
Padre Dam’s goal for the next Five Year Strategic Business Plan has been to set rates and revenue levels that minimize the financial impact to customers while providing the high level of service needed to operate water and wastewater systems spanning a 72 square mile service area, maintain over 38,900 service connections and oversee three-quarters of a billion dollars of infrastructure. In response to the Board’s strong leadership and the conservative fiscal management of the District’s employees, Padre Dam was able to recover from a position of deficit spending, brought on by the Great Recession in 2011 and severe drought conditions, and become financially secure. This took a concerted effort over many years and required significant planning and fiscal restraint.
“Due to the diligent efforts of staff and my esteemed Board members, Padre Dam is strongly positioned to continue providing a safe and secure water supply while embracing this unique opportunity with the District’s new five year plan to provide some rate relief to our customers while still achieving all of the District’s goals,” commented Board Vice President Jim Peasley. “This is hands down the best decision for our customers.”
In preparation for the next Five Year Strategic Business Plan and Budget, the District hired an independent rate consultant to prepare a comprehensive Cost of Service Study with the guidance that the District wanted to minimize any impact to customers over the next five years. The results of this study are the basis for the District’s proposal of a zero percent increase to revenues. This will result in a zero percent increase for the typical customer for Padre Dam’s portion of water and wastewater rates for the next five years. Pass-through adjustments for the energy component of District pumping fees and from wholesale water and wastewater service providers to the District may still occur.
The next step in the process is a Public Hearing, to occur this July, in which the Board of Directors will formally consider the comprehensive Cost of Service Study and the proposed revenue and rate adjustments. A notice providing details will be mailed to all Padre Dam customers in the next few weeks.