The Way Forward May Be Shrouded in Fog
Many Crescenta Valley residents have recently read several editorials from members of the Crescenta Valley Water District Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and responses from the Crescenta Valley Water District.
I had been a member of the CAC in an effort to help provide better transparency between the community and District. As a customer, I have also been concerned with the rate increases in 19 out of 20 years that far exceed any indices I know about.
Reading Mr Ochoa’s article published in the CV Weekly, July 1, 2021 issue, I have to take exception to several of his comments.
To my knowledge, the CAC never endorsed any formal rate increase. The Cost of Study that the District bases the increases on has not been completed nor ever distributed to the CAC allowing the CAC to make an educated recommendation.
As a customer I have many concerns. I have questioned the District why single-family homes, which represent 68% of all users, are getting hit with a tiered rate while 32% of users are on a fixed rate for water.
Mr. Ochoa now implies tiered rates are driven by single-family users causing peaking? Peaking is just one element in the rate structure. Is he suggesting that all homeowners are running their sprinklers at the same time, using excessive water, and the only user group causing this “peaking” condition? I remain confused being told tiered rates were to promote conversation for the last several years.
I quote the verbiage on page 15 of the last published Water and Sewer Cost of Service Study: “The District established inclining tiered (also known as inclining block) water rates to incentivize customers to use water in an efficient manner.” I question why then is 32% of the customer base exempt for tiered rates?
I am disappointed the CAC had been abruptly canceled as I strongly believe that the community needs better transparency between the District and customers with three years of rate increases on the horizon.
As the fog lifts, I remain certain that customers will be hit with substantial rate increases in the upcoming Prop 218 notice for water rates, wastewater rates, service charges and wastewater service charges. These charges will most likely be locked in and increased each year for the next three years. I remain confident that the single-family homeowner will be asked to carry the burden through increases in the tiered rate structure.
I can only hope our elected board members and the District will review all the facts and make decisions that fairly represent all the users within the District.