In response to members’ requests, Eastsound Water has developed a 2019 Base Rate Appeal Process.
The 2019 rate structure specifies that members’ base rates are calculated at $14 per 1,000 gallons applied to their 2018 water use. (Example: If an account averaged 10,000 gallons per quarter in 2018, their 2019 base rate would be $140 per quarter.) Some members have expressed the perspective that their 2018 water use was abnormally large, and as a result, their 2019 base rate is quite high. There is a perspective that members who paid large surplus charges under the 2018 rate structure are being additionally penalized under the 2019 rates. It is the expressed intent of the Eastsound Water Board to not have water service fees be punitive. Eastsound Water’s 2019 rates schedule was specifically designed to apply equally to all members and to provide incentives for members to be more conscious of their water use.
The 2019 rate structure was announced more than a year in advance so members had the opportunity to more closely monitor their water use or plan for the change in costs. The Board is offering members a limited, one-time opportunity to submit an appeal of their 2019 base rate. The following factors will be reviewed in the appeal process, and each factor must be satisfied to qualify for a reduction in their 2019 base rate. Not all members will qualify.
• Has any leak or service line issue been fully and properly remediated to minimize the reoccurrence of the problem? If so, the account may be eligible for potential relief.
• A membership must be in good standing with Association policies to qualify for consideration under this policy.
• The 2019 Base Rate Appeal Process requests must be submitted no later than September 30, 2019. The process is specifically intended to apply only during the transition between the 2018 rate structure and the 2019 rates.
• A $25 fee is required with all appeals. If the appeal is successful, the $25 fee will be waived. Unsuccessful appeals will have a $25 fee applied to their next bill. All appeals will be first reviewed by staff, and then by a subcommittee of the Board.
• Home Owners must submit the appeal. Tenants are not eligible to submit appeals.
Members who meet the 2019 Base Rate Appeal Process criteria may be eligible for a reduction in their 2019 base rate. The base rate revision would be calculated by identifying the highest 30-day water use period in 2018 and replacing it with the 2nd highest 30 days of water use.
Example: An account used 50,000 gallons in 2018 and 12,000 gallons was associated with a catastrophic leak that took 30 days to find and remediate. The second highest 30 days of water use was only 6,000 gallons. If you wish to review your 2018 water use to determine your potential savings you can find your water use history at EASTSOUNDWATER.ORG and click the EyeOnWater LOGIN link on the top banner.
Approved appeals will result in a one-time credit being granted to the account for the difference between the original annual base rate total and the annual revised base rate. If you wish to review your 2018 water use to determine your potential savings, you can find your water use history at EASTSOUNDWATER.ORG and click the EyeOnWater LOGIN link on the top banner.
HOW TO FILE AN APPEAL? Simply email to (firstname.lastname@example.org) announcing the 2019 Base Rate Appeal Process expressing a desire for Eastsound Water to review your 2018 water use history and base rate. Please explain why your 2018 water use was higher than normal and explain what you did to remediate the problem. Be sure to include your name and service address. Recognize that submitting an appeal will trigger a $25 charge to your account should your appeal not meet the Appeal process requirements as stated in this announcement.
Written appeals may also be submitted to: Eastsound Water, PO BOX 115, EASTSOUND, WA 98245. All base rate changes must be approved by the Board, which meets monthly. The deadline for submission of appeals is September 30, 2019.
Members are encouraged to develop a login and utilize the EyeOnWater portal to monitor their water use and manage their leak detection settings.