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Utility Rate Hearing 
 

Utility Rate Hearing Information

Welcome and thank you for visiting our web page for additional information about Salem's utility rates.

Public Hearing

City Council will hold a public hearing regarding proposed utility rates in the Council Chambers at 555 Liberty St. SE, Salem, Oregon, at 6:30 p.m. on October 10, 2016. An opportunity will be provided for customers to testify at the hearing. Written comments may be submitted to cityrecorder@cityofsalem.net or City Recorder's Office, Room 205, 555 Liberty St. SE, Salem, Oregon 97301. All written comments must be received by the City Recorder prior to 5 p.m. on October 10, 2016, to be considered part of the public hearing record.

Estimated Rates for 2017 and 2018

Changes in customer utility bills will vary depending on customer characteristics such as water consumption, wastewater volume and strength, and amount of impervious area. If you would like a bill estimate for a specific account, you may use the Utility Bill Estimator to calculate estimated charges using current consumption values and proposed rates. The Utility Bill Estimator is available for in-city residential, multi-family, commercial, and public customers. For customers in other classifications, customers located outside the city, or to receive an account analysis, please email utilityrateanalyst@cityofsalem.net or call 503-588-6211.

 Rate Hearing & Billing Documents

expand 1. Rate Increases for 2017 and 2018 

The Salem City Council is responsible for setting the fees you pay for water, wastewater, and stormwater services. Rate changes are being proposed for 2017 and 2018 due to increased costs to operate these systems and to provide needed funds for repairing and replacing aging infrastructure.

City Council will hold a public hearing on October 10, 2016. The following materials will be provided for the public hearing:

The 2016 Water/Wastewater Task Force met six times between June 30 and September 8, 2016, to review issues and make policy recommendations. During the course of their review, there was substantial discussion about a reduction in irrigation rates. After much deliberation, the Task Force did not recommend a change for irrigation. The rates in the Utility Bill Estimator do not include reduced irrigation rates.

The Water/Wastewater Task Force is a 12-member advisory body to the Director of Public Works. It is comprised of representatives from Keizer, Turner, Marion County, East Salem Suburban Water District, three City Councilors, and representatives from business and industry. Additional information on the activities of the Water/Wastewater Task Force is available on our Agendas and Minutes page.

Additional information is also available regarding the irrigation policy discussion (see #3 below).

Single-Family Residential Customers

Individual customer charges can vary due to differences in the amount of water used, the amount of impervious area, and whether a backflow device is present. For an average, single-family residence, the total proposed increase each year for water, wastewater, and stormwater combined is estimated to be between $2.20 and $4.50 per month. To estimate the bill for a specific account, use the Utility Bill Estimator, email utilityrateanalyst@cityofsalem.net, or call 503-588-6211 to request an account analysis.

Multi-Family and Non-Residential Customers (Commercial, Public, Irrigation, Industrial, and Institutional)

Changes in commercial, public, irrigation, industrial, and institutional customer utility bills will vary depending on customer characteristics such as water consumption, wastewater volume and strength, and amount of impervious area. Non-residential customer bills vary greatly depending on customer classification and usage. To estimate a bill for a specific account, use the Utility Bill Estimator, email utilityrateanalyst@cityofsalem.net, or call 503-588-6211 to request an account analysis.

expand 2. Utility Bill Estimator 
expand 3. Irrigation Policy Discussion 

The Water/Wastewater Task Force met six times between June 30 and September 8, 2016, to review issues and make policy recommendations regarding rates effective in 2017 and 2018.

After much deliberation, the Task Force did not recommend a change for irrigation. The policy discussion paper and presentation on irrigation are available below:

Additional information on the activities of the Water/Wastewater Task Force is available on our Agendas and Minutes page.

expand 4. Utility Bill 
expand 5. Stormwater Utility Implementation 

In 2010, City Council approved implementation of a stormwater utility to be phased over four years beginning in 2013 and continuing through 2016.  The stormwater utility was established to separate stormwater fees from wastewater fees and more equitably charge customers for service.  In 2016, wastewater and stormwater rates were fully separated.

For more information on Salem’s stormwater program, you may view a fact sheet or visit www.cityofsalem.net/stormwaterutility.

expand 6. Backflow Prevention Program 
expand 7. Franchise Fee 

The City of Salem charges a five-percent franchise fee to all utilities for using the City’s right-of-way. This fee is assessed on telephone, electricity, natural gas, and cable providers, as well as the City’s water, wastewater, and stormwater utility services. The City of Salem uses franchise fee revenue for street maintenance and general government such as police, fire, parks, and library services. Additional information is available on the history of Salem’s franchise fees.

expand 8. 2012 Cost of Service Rate Study 

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Stormwater Utility Implementation

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Individual customer account charges can vary due to customer characteristics such as:

  • Water consumption
  • Water meter size
  • Customer class
  • Impervious area used for stormwater charges
  • Backflow prevention

The online Utility Bill Estimator may be used for in-city single-family residential, multi-family, commercial, public, and irrigation accounts. Customers outside the city or with institutional and industrial accounts shall email utilityrateanalyst@cityofsalem.net to request an account analysis.

To use the Utility Bill Estimator, you will need the following pieces of information from the upper right corner of your current utility bill:

  • Wastewater volume
  • Stormwater area
  • Water meter size
  • Number of living units (multi-family classifications)
  • Consumption units

The billing section will indicate whether a backflow prevention fee or fire service fee are currently charged to your account.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Proposed Rate Increases for 2015 and 2016

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The Water/Wastewater Task Force met six times between June 30 and September 8, 2016, to review issues and make policy recommendations regarding rates effective in 2017 and 2018.

After much deliberation, the Task Force did not recommend a change for irrigation. The policy discussion paper and presentation on irrigation are available below:

Additional information on the activities of the Water/Wastewater Task Force is available on our Agendas and Minutes page.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ City of Salem Utility Bill

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The City of Salem utility bill shows base and volume charges for water, wastewater, and stormwater. The five-percent franchise fee and streetlight fee are listed separately from the utility charges. Customers who require backflow prevention assemblies have a fee for the backflow prevention program. Customer charges vary greatly due to differences in water consumption, wastewater volume and strength, and the amount of impervious area.

To estimate the bill for a specific account, use the Utility Bill Estimator, email utilityrateanalyst@cityofsalem.net, or call 503-588-6211 to request an account analysis.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Content Editor - Easy Tabs ‭[1]‬

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Backflow Prevention Program

Title DescriptionFilter

Oregon Administrative Rules 033-062-070 and Salem Revised Code 72.190 require a backflow prevention assembly be installed on residential and commercial water services that have the potential to contaminate the City’s water system. Homes or businesses with irrigation systems, and certain other businesses, are required to have backflow assemblies. These assemblies are required to be tested on an annual basis to ensure proper function. The property owner is responsible for the installation, maintenance, repair, and replacement of each backflow assembly. The City of Salem is required to maintain proof of compliance. For more information, see the Backflow Prevention Program.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Franchise Fee

Title DescriptionFilter

The City of Salem charges a five-percent franchise fee to all utilities for using the City’s right-of-way. This fee is assessed on telephone, electricity, natural gas, and cable providers, as well as the City’s water, wastewater, and stormwater utility services. The City of Salem uses franchise fee revenue for street maintenance and general government such as police, fire, parks, and library services. Additional information is available on the history of Salem’s franchise fees.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2012 Cost of Service Rate Study

Title DescriptionFilter

Salem provides services to various customer classes and areas inside and outside of Salem city limits. Under a cost of service methodology, the costs to provide treated drinking water, remove and treat wastewater, and collect and convey stormwater to the Willamette River are analyzed, and relevant costs are assigned to the groups of customers in proportion to the service provided. Salem's Cost of Service Analysis (COSA) was updated and adopted by Council in August, 2012. The 2012 Cost of Service Rate Study reflects industry-standard technical approaches, as well as the Salem's local policy framework.

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