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Montara Water Customers Pay Less Today Than in 2001

In 2001, Montara residents wanted local control of their water supply, voting 80 percent to take over Citizens Utilities from an out-of-area operator. At the time, the private utility company that owned the water system was projecting bi-monthly water bills would go as high as $275.

The average bill is currently about 8% lower than it was in 2001 when adjusted for inflation.

2.02% is the average annual projected increase in rates from 2001 to 2020.

Customers have reduced their water use about 28% since 2001.

When Montara Water and Sanitary District was formed, it made projections with much lower rates. Today, Montara Water and Sanitary District (MWSD) customers are paying even less than projected in 2001, about $12 less when adjusted for inflation.

“Today, a typical water bill is $155 for two months, while the projection adjusted for inflation bill was $167 for the same period,” said Alex Handlers, principal financial consultant with Bartles Wells, advisers to MWSD.

“In real dollar terms customers are paying less than they did in 2001,” Handlers noted.

Since then, MWSD has made substantial capital improvements in facilities and water supply including new wells, pipelines and water tanks over the 14-year period. In recent years, the District has been investing about $3 million each year in combined water and sewer improvements.

These major upgrades have been made to the system while keeping the costs to the customer lower than projections.