Beginning January 2021, it will be necessary to increase Lake Forest Utility District’s (LFUD) monthly sewer rate from $10/month to $20/month and to increase the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA) fees by 10%. The NHCRWA fee is based on raw well water pumped from the aquifer and not the actual amount of treated water billed to the customer. This will be LFUD’s first increase in water and sewer rates since 1996.
In June 2020, LFUD commissioned our engineering firm, AEI Engineering, to perform an analysis of our current water and sewer production costs and the revenue received from current tax, water, and sewer rates along with the fees associated with the NHCRWA. The analysis showed LFUD is currently collecting 91 % of the cost to provide water, 59% of the sewer costs, and about 90% of the fees assessed to LFUD by the NHCRWA.
Based on AEl’s analysis, the Board determined that the majority of the costs for sewer and water could be recovered by adding $10/month to the sewer rate only. The NHCRWA revenue shortfall could be corrected by adding a 10% surcharge to the NHCRWA assessment. The 10% surcharge will recover the cost of water lost from main breaks and water flushed from fire hydrants, etc.
Through prudent management, LFUD has paid off all outstanding bonds but has a $0.245/$100 valuation Operation & Maintenance Tax. Our evaluation has found that LFUD has the lowest water and sewer rates and O & M taxes compared to neighboring districts after the January 2021 increase is implemented.