CMD Rate & Fee Changes

Chester Metropolitan District (CMD) will be changing its water rate structure beginning in late summer of 2018. The CMD Board of Commissioners endeavored to develop a rate structure that was equitable to residential customers.  CMD hired Raftelis from Charlotte, North Carolina to review our existing water rate structure and propose a rate structure that will strike a fair balance between residential and industrial customers.

Effective September 1, 2018, CMD will no longer charge customers through a “declining block” water rate structure. A declining block water rate structure caters to large (mostly industrial) water users because the price per gallon of water goes down as water usage goes up.  Under the new structure, all customers – residential and industrial – will now have a “base rate” calculated on meter size and will pay the same flat rate per 1000 gallons of water used.  This new flat rate is $7.19 per 1000 gallons.

Customers will no longer see additional fees, such as the “Residuals Management Fee”, “DHEC Fee”, and “Capital Projects Fee.” Those charges are no longer listed as separate line items on the water bill and the charges have been included in the base rate charge and the uniform water rate.

 

Table One – Old Rate and New Rate Comparison

 

CMD’s 2017 Revenue Bond Resolution calls for a 7% water rate increase each year over the next few years.  A 7% water rate increase has been applied to the new water rate structure this year.  However, most residential customers can expect to see a decrease in their average monthly water bill, as evidenced above in Table One.

Referencing Table One, the column designated as Current Charges represents existing water charges under the old rate structure.  The column designated as 7% Increase Charges increases the current water charges by 7%.  The column designated Proposed Charges ¾” represents the new water charges using the new water rate structure.  The last column designated as Savings represents the reduction in new water charges versus the old water charges with a 7% rate increase.

The new water rate schedule met the goals of the CMD commission to develop a water rate and water rate schedule that is fairer to residential customers than the old water rate schedule.  The new water rate schedule and the proposed 2018-2019 CMD Budget were presented in two public hearings at the Chester County Library on June 27, 2018.  The public hearings were held at 2 pm and 5 pm in the Jean White Room.  The 2018-2019 CMD Budget was approved in a special call meeting of the CMD Commission held on June 29, 2018.

CLICK HERE TO SEE CMD’S CURRENT RATE AND FEE SCHEDULE.

 

Capital Recovery Fees for Water are in Effect

Chester Metropolitan District (CMD) has begun the process of imposing Capital Recovery Fees for all new development in Chester County. Customers who apply for new taps (new service; one not currently connected to CMD’s water system) will be subject to these fees, as advertised in previous articles.  The proposed capital recovery fee schedule was presented in a public hearing at the Gateway Conference Center at 6 pm on May 31, 2018.  The CMD Commission approved the capital recovery fee schedule at the June 12, 2018 monthly board meeting.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE CAPITAL RECOVERY FEE SCHEDULE.

Non-Payment Fee to Replace Reconnect Fee

Beginning in July 2018, the Chester Metropolitan District will discontinue the “Reconnect Fee” and replace it with a “Non-Payment Fee”. This Non-Payment Fee will be charged to all past-due accounts which have not been paid within twenty-five days of the bill date.

The policy, approved by the CMD Board of Commissioners in May 2018, is as follows:

 

Bills for water service are issued monthly by the District. The bill will be sent to the mailing address specified by the Customer at the time application for service is made, or at a new mailing address designated by the Customer in writing. If a customer does not receive the bill at the appropriate time of the month, he or she is encouraged to call the District office for assistance, or to enroll in automatic draft.

The District will make every reasonable effort to see that each Customer receives a monthly bill, however, the District is not responsible for mail delivery or the lack thereof. Customers are allowed fifteen (15) days from the Bill Date to remit payment.

Should a Customer fail to remit payment in a timely manner, he or she will be subject to the following:

  • Bills not paid within fifteen (15) days shall be considered late, and a penalty will be added to the Customer’s account.
  • Accounts with bills not paid within twenty-five (25) days of the bill date will be charged a non-payment fee and will be scheduled for disconnection. Payment must be received by 5:00 PM on the twenty-fifth day to avoid the non-payment fee. Example: The bill date is the 4th of the month. A late fee will be added at 5:00 PM on the 19th of the month. The non-payment fee will be added at 5:00 PM on the 29th of the month.
  • When service to an address has been discontinued for non-payment, all charges for service to date become immediately due and payable, and service will not be restored until payment has been made in full, including any additional charges assessed by the District (including, but not limited to, meter/meter box/MXU damages, return-check fees, and/or additional deposit).
  • If a Customer is disconnected for non-payment, he or she will continue to receive a minimum monthly bill for availability of service until such time as the account is closed.

All late and non-payment fees are assessed based on the most current CMD Rate Schedule.

For more information, please call us at (803) 385-5123.

CMD Payment Period Extension

Beginning January 2018, Chester Metropolitan District will extend the payment period for all billing cycles. Customers will now have fifteen (15) days from the Bill Date to pay their bills before being assessed a penalty. Customers will also have an additional ten (10) days to make payment before their services become eligible for disconnection. This decision was approved by CMD’s Board of Commissioners at the December 2017 Commission Meeting.

Other adjustments to our Customer Service practices are also under review, and will be announced as approved by our Board of Commissioners. As always, comments and suggestions on how we may better serve our community are always welcomed and appreciated.

2017 Fire Flow Testing

NOTICE TO CMD (WATER) CUSTOMERS

The Chester Metropolitan District is scheduled to begin flow testing all fire hydrants on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 as a part of our maintenance program. Residents may experience minor discoloration to their water while flow testing is being conducted. The CMD urges its customers to check their water quality BEFORE beginning laundry or other household tasks. The flushing program is expected to continue through December 29, 2017. Please notify CMD immediately at 385-5123 if you incur any type of problem.

High Bills & Unusual Billing Dates

HIGH WATER BILLS?

The Chester Meter Replacement Project is currently underway. Crews from Ferguson Waterworks are working to replace all water meters in Chester Metropolitan District’s system with new radio-read meters. Because many of the meters being replaced are older and may be under-registering water use, customers may receive a higher bill than expected on the month immediately following the replacement.

If your bill is significantly higher than your average, please call or visit our office. Our staff will be able to provide additional information on your account.

RECEIVING WATER BILLS LATER THAN USUAL?

In addition to the meter replacement efforts in Chester, CMD has experienced challenges in delivering water bills to customers on normal schedules. These challenges are a result of mandatory software upgrades to our billing system. Bills are currently leaving the CMD office approximately ten (10) days later than usual. The number of days to pay your bill has not changed. CMD expects to replace its billing system with a newer, more reliable system over the next ten to twelve months to improve billing schedules and customer service.

We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage any customer concerned with missing a payment to sign up for automatic draft.

As always, please contact our office with any questions or concerns.

CMD Water IS Safe To Drink

On Friday afternoon, July 14th, Charlotte Water contacted Chester Metropolitan District and many downstream water utilities to report that a 21-inch sewer line had separated and approximately 200,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Kings Branch.

Kings Branch is a tributary to Big Sugar Creek, which flows into the Catawba River downstream of the Lake Wylie dam. With the distance that the sewage has to flow, and the amount of the base flow in the Catawba River, natural mixing of the waters will dilute a majority of bacteria contained in the river.

Chester Metropolitan District has been monitoring the raw water quality in the Catawba River and has reported no change in normal water quality at its water filtration plant in Fort Lawn. Reports from the filtration plant indicate no change in pH or bacterial levels, and no indication that the spill is presenting a health risk to our customers. The drinking water being produced meets or exceeds USEPA Primary Drinking Water Standards.

Chester Metropolitan District will continue to closely monitor the water quality in the river and report any problems to our customers. Updates on the sewer spill will be available here on our website. Please check back for more information, or call our office at (803) 385-5123.

CMD to Halt Reminder Notices

In an effort to streamline our billing system and cut wasteful spending, the Chester Metropolitan District has made the decision to discontinue payment Reminder Notices. We understand that this is a convenience to our customers, and one that many rely on to ensure their bills are paid. Because our customers have come to rely on this service, the decision was not made lightly.

The dependence on reminder notices has increased greatly in the last several years. CMD regularly sends out up to 2,500 reminder notices per month – that means nearly forty percent of CMD’s customers regularly receive both a bill and a reminder notice.  By eliminating reminder notices, our staff is able to cut supply and postage usage by nearly $1,000 per month. Removing this step also allows us to streamline our billing procedures and provide more efficient service to our customers, as our billing clerks are able to focus on other, more important aspects of their daily duties.

The elimination of reminder notices will not affect due dates and payment procedures. Customers will still have the same amount of time to pay their bills, which may be done in our office, by mail, through the night depository, online at www.cmdcsd.com, or by automatic bank draft.

Any customer concerned about missing their due date because of this change is encouraged to sign up for automatic drafts. This ensures payments are received on time without the hassle of coming to the office to make a payment in person.

Customers can expect to stop receiving reminder notices after September 1, 2017. We at CMD are committed to our customers. Please call our office at (803) 385-5123 with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. Our regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

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