The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Op-Ed: Transparency Lacking in SFID Water Rate Hikes

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Open letter to the SFID:

YOUR WATER RATE INCREASES ARE GOING THROUGH THE ROOF!!!!

Where’s the transparency in the new water rates if we don’t have a clue on the real reasons for the increase? Our water comes from several different sources at different costs. Are all water costs the Why do some properties receive a reduced rate when everyone else gets a higher rate? Are all water costs the same to all properties? If not, WHY?

Water is water to your customers so why do different areas have different water cost rates? Even if you don’t blend the water sources, shouldn’t you blend the water rates to be fair to everyone?

Blending the different water costs would equalize the costs to everyone. Are there really different rates of water costs for different sized properties and/or different locations, aside from reclaimed water that is not for residential use? It would appear that some properties get a reduction in their rates regardless of whether those properties have instituted all available water conservation measures.

How is this far?

The proposed rates charge the least expensive water to many homes with lots essentially based on the smaller size of those properties. Why do some properties receive a reduced rate when everyone else gets a higher rate? How is that fair and equitable?
What about the huge lawsuit that has recently been won that will provide a future windfall for the SFID? You say you had reserves, what were they spent on or do we still have some reserves?

Your average of 9%, 9%, 9% over the next 2 ½ years is not compounded and is misleading. This probably represents the very low side of what will happen and is not the much higher costs that most people will see on their water bills INCREASING starting in June 2016 and then INCREASING again seven months later in January 2017 and then INCREASING again a year later in 2018!!!

Do people really understand that there are two types of increases – one for the fixed rate for your size of meter and then the higher rates for water used above the base with an added tier and new ranges? Both are changing and compounding the new total water rate of increase for most of the properties.

One final question – Do all of the current Board Members receive the proposed 9% rate increases on their property or are their increases considerably below the 9% average in the areas where they live?

We all have been trying to take out our green lawns and/or reducing the watering of our plants over the last many months and now most owners are using significantly less water. Now, after the proposed increased rates most property owners will be paying more for less. We need to see a realistic cost evaluation of why this is happening before there is any action taken to implement this massive increase in water costs to the customers of the SFID.

While this letter was addressed to the SFID Board, I encourage all ratepayers to sign a PROTEST LETTER NOW before May 19th to get some real answers from the SFID Board of Directors BEFORE our water rates go through the roof!!

Marion B. Dodson