FAQ Page

Can the District change the scheduled date and time of its meetings?

The District may change the date of a Board meeting at its discretion.  The explanation for the postponement may be posted at its website and notice bulletin boards.  A notice of rescheduled meetings must be posted within 48 hours as legally required by Arizona Open Meeting Law.

How is the annual fiscal year budget reviewed and approved by the Board?

The annual fiscal year budget needs to be reviewed twice by the board prior to approval and adoption prior to the start of the fiscal year, which starts July 1st and ends on June 30th of each year. In addition, the proposed budget needs to be publicly published through its website and local newspaper twice, 10 days apart, prior to formal board approval.

What are the approved base and usage rate increases for the FYs 2023 to 2027?

The approved RCAC (Rural Community Assistance corporation) Rate Study dated 3/24/22 was completed as required by the USDA loan process.  The RCAC determined that in order to afford our loan payments, we must raise our rates as follows:

  • 6% increase to the base rate and tier rates in Year One (Fiscal year 2022-2023, the current fiscal year ending June 30th,)
  • 3% increase to base rate & tier rates for the remaining 4 years thereafter – FY24 (7/1/23-6/30/24), FY25 (7/1/2024-6/30/2025), FY26 (7/1/2025-6/30/2026), & FY27 (7/1/2026-6/30/2027)
  • After that, it’s the Board’s discretion to keep increasing by 3% each year or do something different.

The RCAC Rate Study rate (Referred to as Option 2) was approved on March 24, 2022, at a Regular Board Meeting.

How are rate changes communicated to the community?

Rate Schedule changes are published in the local newspaper (Payson Round-up) twice, 10 days apart, pursuant to ARS Section 38-431, ARS Section 42-17101, and ARS Section 48-251.

Effective for the incoming FY 2023 the rate schedule and proposed budget will be shared via the PSWID FB page, an email blast, and posted on our website and at community bulletin boards.

What is the RCAC and the Rate Study?

Rural Community Assistance Corporation

Founded in 1978, RCAC is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. For more than 40 years, our dedicated staff and active board, coupled with our key values of leadership, collaboration, commitment, quality, and integrity, have helped rural communities throughout the West achieve positive change.

Purpose of this Rate Study

The purpose of this study is to make THE PINE-STRAWBERRY WATER IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT aware of the need to raise water rates. The system must be able to maintain operations and build reserves to cover the inevitable need to replace all components of the operation.

Board Responsibilities

The Governing Body has a fiduciary responsibility to set the rates at such a level that the utility will be able to continue to operate now and into the future, including providing funds to replace all parts of the system as they wear out. While this document recommends certain rates, the ultimate decision rests with the Governing Body.

Guiding Principles of This Study

This study is guided by the following principles:

Sustainability:  Water rates should cover costs permitting THE PINE-STRAWBERRY WATER IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT to provide water services now and for the foreseeable future.

Fairness:  Water rates should be fair to all rate payers. No single rate payer or group of rate payers should be singled out for different rates. The District should not charge more for water than the cost to provide the water.

Ease of Understanding:  Water rates should be easy for staff to understand, implement and explain to customers. The structure should be compatible with current utility billing software. 

Justifiability:  Water rates must be based on actual financial needs of the District. Revenue generated from water rates cannot be used for anything else but to pay for the costs of procuring, treating, and distributing water within its service area, plus related administrative costs and reserves.

What is the length of terms for members of the board?

Board member terms are 4 years, with two alternating groups.  The By-Laws were amended in 2000 to change all Board members to 4-year terms.

 A-cycle (Informally known as) contains 4 members, their terms (As of June, 2023) currently began 1/1/2021 and will end 12/31/2024.

 B-cycle (Informally known as) contains 3 members, their terms (as of June, 2023) began 1/1/2023 and will end 12/31/2026

The two-year rotations coincide with the Gila County election cycle.  Every 2 two years either A-cycle or B-cycle will be up for possible election.  For example, when A-cycle terms end and more people than the number of open seats submit an Expression of Interest, an election must occur.  So, 4 open seats and 5 applicants.  However, if no more individuals than the number of open seats apply then the incumbents are usually appointed unless they choose not to serve another term.  In that case, an appointee is vetted from the submitted Expressions of Interest by the current sitting board.   The cost of an election is paid for by the District when and if it must occur. 

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