By Mary O’KEEFE
In compliance with Proposition 218, Crescenta Valley Water District is asking for letters/protests regarding a possible rate increase. If this sounds familiar, that’s because the District had asked for comments a few months ago.
If the rate increase is approved, a water bill for a typical resident with a 3/4-inch meter using 17 units of water during a two-month billing period would increase by $10.65, from $152.13 to $162.78. A wastewater bill for the same typical residence would increase by $3.03, from $77.57 to $80.60 in a two-month billing period, according to CVWD.
CVWD customers have been receiving notices explaining the proposed impact and notifying them of a public meeting on the issue on Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. at the CVWD boardroom, 2700 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta.
On June 27, during a CVWD meeting, customers were surprised when board president James Bodnar announced that the board would not take a vote on the proposed increases as planned. According to a recent mailer to customers, CVWD stated input from customers caused the board to adjust its voting schedule. It found that earlier notices on the issue did “not make it clear that property owners and CVWD customers had the right to protest the proposed increases.”
Protest letters can now be sent to CVWD concerning the Water and Waste Water Bill Increase, with a deadline for email or mail of Aug. 23. People can hand-deliver their protest letter to the Aug. 27 community meeting as well.
What needs to be included in the written protest under Prop 218, according to CVWD’s website, is the following information: parcel site address, name and signature of the parcel owner or tenant, a statement that the customer is protesting the proposed rates. The customer does not have to give a reason for his/her opposition; opposition alone is sufficient.
It is important to note that emailed protests must be scanned or photographed with a handwritten signature. Email text will not be accepted. Please ensure scans/photos are clear and legible.
The protest letters can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, mailed to Crescenta Valley Water District, 2700 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta, California 91214, hand-delivered to the CVWD offices (there is a drop box to the right side of the entrance) or handed to the CVWD staff at the public hearing.
At the District’s June 11 meeting the treasurer presented the data from the protest letters it had received during the first go around. It was determined that 94 letters had met all the requirements of Prop 218 and were being considered as a formal protest. The criteria included that all letters were signed by the owner or tenant, only one protest letter per address was allowed, the property address was shown on the letter and the address was serviced by CVWD. At the time the District received an additional 279 protests that were not considered valid because they had one or more of the criteria missing. A number of those who emailed protests, after being informed of the invalidating issues, resubmitted and those protests were included in the 94 approved total.