Options to be Considered at Water Budget Meeting


The Crescenta Valley Water District will hold a public meeting on June 21 that will offer an overview of the 2011-2012 budget and discussion regarding recommending a bond or a pay-as-you-go method to meet the budget.

“The staff can make either approach work,” said Dennis Erdman, the district’s general manager.

“The more expensive choice would depend on what horizon you are looking at,” added CVWD Program Specialist Christy Scott.

With a pay-as-you-go strategy, there would a higher initial rate, but there would be no debt over 30 years that the district would acquire with a bond. The total cost of how much the pay-as-you-go idea depends on how much money the board votes for in future budgets.

“I assume it would be $2 million a year, but it’s not written in stone,” said Scott. There’s a possibility that if Crescenta Valley residents continue to conserve water – which Erdman reported a 20% decrease at the CV Town Council meeting Tuesday night – there would be no increase in the cost of water. However, this may not be the case.

With a bond, the rate would gradually go up, but it would take 30 years to repay. The rate of the bond would not be as sharp the first year and the cost over 30 years is unknown. The total cost depends on a lot of factors including interest rates, issue costs and legal fees among other factors. If bonds are used, capital improvements like water treatment and pipe repair would be made. If the board decides on the pay-as-you-go strategy, capital improvements would most likely be diverted.

The rate of water depends on several factors. There’s the cost of importing water, then there’s the cost of pumping, the electricity costs and the rate increase of the importation of water.

“A lot of the portion of our budget, we have no control over our fixed cost,” said Scott. The fixed cost includes the importation of water from Foothill Municipal Water District.

“Basically, in the last meeting the staff discussed several ideas for a future budget,” said Scott. The board was split 3-2 on whether to implement a pay-as-you-go method or a bond. The 3-2 vote was not an official vote, but rather a poll. There will be no official vote at the June 21 meeting, but an opportunity for the public to offer input and ask questions.

The official vote will be at the July 12 meeting. All meetings are open to the public.

The CVWD charges the public $1.90 per unit of water. The average is 22 units every bill. The bill is issued every two months.

Scott was unsure what the public will be in favor of, but the public had an option of making comments about the proposal by mailing or emailing before today.