The Rancho Santa Fe Post

July Water News... From the desk of Marlene King, SFID Div. 3 Director

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June 15th Board Meeting:  The Board unanimously approved the 2018 Budget as presented.  No members of the public presented comment, either in written or spoken form, during the Public Hearing held prior to the Budget being approved. 

You may have read the front page article in the June 22nd RSF Review about the adoption of the budget that made several references to the 2016, 2017 and proposed 2018 rate increases being “9 percent”.  This was an incorrect statement.  The referenced three year 9%, 9%, 9% was the required revenue adjustment.  That revenue adjustment resulted in a wide range of actual rate increases, depending on the size of the water meter and the amount of water consumed.  In 2016 water bills ranged from reductions of -4.5% to increases of over 24.3%.  This year’s 2017 increases range from 8% to 12.5%.  

2017 “Be Water Smart” Poster Contest Winners:  Two of the three fourth-grade winners were from Fairbanks Ranch.  Isabella Costa won first place and Catherine Camberos garnered third.  Second place went to Isabel Bartolo who attends R. Roger Rowe School.  Congratulations!  (Isabella’s sister was also one of the winners in the 2015 contest.)  Isabella, Isabel and Catherine’s art work will be featured in the 2018 calendar, which will be available in November.  If you’d like a copy of the calendar, contact the District in November and request they set aside a copy for you. 

California Court of Appeals delivered their opinion on the MET vs. San Diego County Water Authority law suit:  While both sides quickly circulated press releases which said they each had won and that if they hadn’t prevailed on a particular component of the suit, they would appeal, it became rather quickly clear that MET had prevailed on the really big ticket item of the suit – the costs they had been charging SDCWA on the cost to move water through the California aqueduct system. 

The California Court of Appeals found “…the California aqueduct unquestionably is an integral part of the system by which Metropolitan transports water to its member agencies” and it is lawful for Metropolitan to recover its State Water Project conveyance costs in its wheeling rate and the transportation rates charged under its exchange agreement with San Diego County Water Authority”.  – MET News Release 6/21/17.

The Court of Appeals sent this wheeling rate and transportation rate issue back to the judge who originally ruled in San Diego’s favor.  Additional delay.  Additional legal fees.  Additional legal wrangling.  To be continued… 

May 2017 water usage of SFID customers:  Total District potable water deliveries for May 2017 came in at 924.5 Acre Feet.  That translates to 410 gpcd (residential gallons-per-capita-per-day).  District treatment plant staff reports increasing consumption as the month of June heats up.  

SFID Board of Directors Workshops:  The Board is holding a series of Special Meeting Workshops to discuss a number of important issues: District Mission and Vision Statements; District Strategic Business Plan; Capital Investment; Fiscal Sustainability; Community Affairs and Public Outreach, and Organizational Health.  Two Workshops have already been held, with future Workshop dates yet to be determined.  Meetings are open to the public.  The first two ran four hours each. 

Automated Meters Installation:  The five million dollar capital improvement program to replace all manual read water meters with meters that send readings via radio frequency began in Rancho Santa Fe last fall, Fairbanks Ranch this June.  The meter replacement program will take five years before all meters are changed out, and the District is in year two of the program.  The District contracted with an outside vendor to do the meter exchanges.  Hopefully all change outs will be accomplished with a minimum of inconvenience to our customers, as it takes on average thirty minutes to do the exchange, during which time water service to the property is shut off.  If you wish to pass along any feedback about this process please feel free to contact me.  marleneliza@cox.net  or 759-1306