Tune in for half an hour on Tuesday evening, Sept. 14, and you might get answers to questions you may have about Hillsboro's proposed water rate hike.
The city announced it will hold a "community conversation" about its plans to increase water rates from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. That event will be held virtually via Zoom.
Along with a presentation about the proposed water rates for 2022, city officials say they will also have a question-and-answer session. Hillsboro Water Department staff will be on hand to answer questions from attendees.
Live Spanish translation will be available as well.
The Hillsboro Water Department is proposing an 8.8% monthly rate increase for single-family residential customers, a 10.5% increase for commercial, nonprofit, multifamily and public customers, and a 14.9% increase for customers who use Hillsboro water for irrigation.
Officials say that works out to an increase of $3.42 per month for the typical residential customer using about 6,000 gallons of water per month, from $39.08 to $42.50. Exact numbers will differ depending on water usage and meter size.
The new rates would take effect with the utility billing period that starts Jan. 1, 2022.
The Hillsboro Water Department says the rate increases are needed to continue paying for Hillsboro's share of the Willamette Water Supply System, which will tap the Willamette River near Wilsonville as a new source of drinking water for the Hillsboro and Beaverton areas; replace aging water infrastructure in Hillsboro; and shore up the water system in case of a major earthquake.
To register to attend Tuesday's virtual Zoom event, visit the meeting registration website. You will be asked to give your first name (last name optional) and email address to sign up. You can also call 503-615-6702 with any questions about the event.
Hillsboro is in the midst of a 30-day official public comment period on the proposed rate increases, from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30, although officials say they plan to hold a public hearing on Oct. 4 at which additional feedback will be welcome before the city government makes a final decision on the 2022 rates.
Hillsboro also offers a utility assistance program for customers struggling to pay their monthly bills. For more information on that program, call 503-681-6163 or visit the city website.
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