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SD1 Board Approves No Increase of Revenues Amid Pandemic

The Sanitation District 1 (SD1) board of directors voted unanimously this week not to increase revenues in the next fiscal year.

The utility will be in year two of a four-year residential sanitary sewer rate restructure.

All other rate classes and fees remain unchanged, a news release.

“We were anticipating a 5 percent revenue increase in year two of the plan,” said SD1 Executive Director Adam Chaney. “However, considering the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and its impacts on our community, it was determined that any proposed revenue increase would be inappropriate at this time.”

The board's decision requires a majority vote of the judges/executive of Kenton, Boone, and Campbell counties. They will meet on May 26.

In 2019, a majority of the three county fiscal courts approved a new residential sanitary sewer rate structure aimed at aligning sewer rates more closely with the actual cost of providing service. In accordance with the plan, SD1 charges a base rate for the first 2 hundred cubic feet (HCF) of water treated, and a variable rate for each additional HCF of water treated. Under the 4-year plan, as the base rate increases the variable rate is reduced. 

While SD1 will see no revenue increase next year, individual rate payers may still see their bills increase or decrease depending on the total volume of water used.    

SD1 will also renew its partnership with the Brighton Center to continue to offer a Customer Assistance Program that helps cover the incremental increase of the base rate for qualifying low-income and fixed-income customers.

“We will continue to do everything we can to keep rates affordable while supporting the economic vitality of our community,” Chaney said. “Not seeking a scheduled revenue increase this year is another step toward that goal.”

Chaney said the combination of extending SD1’s consent decree deadline to the year 2040 and the District’s recent shift to smart-sewer management strategies will save Northern Kentucky ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 20 years. As a result, he said, SD1 has been able to cut forecasted rate increases in half during that time frame.

The proposed changes would take effect on July 1 and be reflected on August bills.

-Staff report

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