Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

EID to dial back rate hike

By
From page A1 | October 18, 2013 | 9 Comments

Board members of the El Dorado Irrigation District considered lowering next year’s water rate increase from 11 to 5 percent at Tuesday’s meeting.

Discussed during a midcycle budget workshop, EID originally planned to increase treated water rates by 11 percent in 2014, this on top of the 11 percent increase this year.

Instead, staff proposed increasing the rate for treated water by only 5 percent, the same rate increase planned for wastewater and recycled water.

Staff explained their recommendation by noting the economy appeared to be recovering somewhat based on increases in revenue from new hookup fees. In addition, 2013 revenues are expected to be about $1 million higher than originally budgeted, while projected 2013 year-end expenditures are expected to be lower by $575,000.

Some of those savings came from the early implementation of the Public Employees Pension Reform Act, which the employees of the district agreed to four years early. In addition there was a delay and reduction in the amount of the forecasted bond sale for specific long-lived capital assets along with other cost-saving measures.

Rate increases have become something of a lightening rod for the district, resulting in criticism from the public as well as candidates running to fill two positions on the EID board.

Two of those candidates, Greg Prada and Jake Flesher, were at the board meeting.

Flesher asked the board to consider other scenarios, including no rate increase next year. Prada suggested the board put off any decision until the new board members are installed.

Director Alan Day asked staff to come to the next meeting with scenarios based on a zero rate increase or increases of less than 5 percent. He also wanted staff to outline the potential repercussions of different rate scenarios.

However, General Manager Jim Abercrombie suggested that a rate increase below 5 percent could impact their debt service coverage in the future and lead to double-digit rate increases later.

Also discussed during the budget presentation was the proposed refinancing of some of EID’s debt as well as the prepayment of some of its debt.

With the budget workshop an information item only, the decision regarding changes to the proposed water rate increase will take place at the board’s next meeting on Oct. 28.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 9 comments

  • Phil VeerkampOctober 17, 2013 - 4:48 pm

    Hey EID Board! Try to temember. . . . not so long ago . . . remember what happened when you spent FCCs (hook-up fees) on "other stuff"? Please!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • West End CynicOctober 18, 2013 - 5:32 pm

    You can retire in N. Thailand for the cost of EID, PGE and EDC property tax and a bit more in some red states. Of course you have to brush your teeth with bottled water but there is something with with the fact that one of the most "watery" counties in CA has some of the highest water rates.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampOctober 19, 2013 - 11:17 pm

    ". . . one of the most 'watery' counties in CA has some of the highest water rates." ~~~ Not true, West End Cynic ~~~ In a 2013 water rate study comparing 404 California agencies we find that 103 agencies have lower rates than EID and 300 agencies have higher rates.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • NancyOctober 20, 2013 - 5:08 am

    EID: How about reducing our rates by 11%?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampOctober 20, 2013 - 6:43 am

    Nancy, the answer is that it's not going to happen. If you are serious in your question then you should read up on the background. ~~~ LINK - How EID got to where it is now Nancy, part of the reason behind recent double digit rate hikes can be found from ~15 years ago when voters were seduced by the siren song of candidates promising "lower rates and reform". We are in jeopardy of being fooled again. Do you really want to cut now only to have to catch up again with future double digit rate increases?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • no on your lifeOctober 20, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    how many EID folks have swimming pools, while we have to decide whether to water our gardens or water our aged horses who taught the neighborhood kids to ride and promote the old folks on the road to walk down and feed them carrots or just look and remember their youth.....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • not on your lifeOctober 20, 2013 - 7:38 pm

    I meant to sign not on your life, but remembered I left the water on....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynOctober 21, 2013 - 7:59 am

    'America’s Water - An Exploratory Analysis of Municipal Water Survey Data' - HERE: From 2000-2010, on average utility debt increased by 33 percent while water rates increased by 23 percent.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynOctober 21, 2013 - 8:01 am

    Download America Water Exploratory Analysis: HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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