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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Deadline to Comment on Water Rate Increase Plan Is Nov. 27

• District 29 Wants Five-Year Increase Plan

BY BILL KOENEKER 

Malibu residents who object to the rate increases sought by Waterworks District 29, have less than a month before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, acting as the governing body of the water district, considers the proposed water rate hikes recommended for county Water District 29, which includes Malibu and Topanga.
The meeting will be held in the hearing room of the board in downtown Los Angeles on Nov. 27.
Some customers have expressed frustration in how the county measures citizen approval or disapproval.
“They make it as difficult as possible because everyone has to write a letter protesting the increase to make a 51 percent majority against the fee, not for it” said one agitated ratepayer.
Written protests must be submitted to the board by a majority of owners of parcels.
The board of supervisors by law, will consider all protests against the proposed fee.
If written protests against the proposed fee are presented by a majority of owners of parcels receiving service, the water district cannot impose the fee, according to district officials.
The proposed rate plan calls for a 5.4 percent annual increase for the first two years and 5.2 percent annually for the succeeding three years, according to a notice sent to customers.
Revenues generated from the rate increase, according to district officials, will be used to close a gap between revenues and expenditures, build a 90-day cash reserve, fund annual infrastructure projects, and offset a portion of asset depreciation.
Ratepayers are being told the proposed rate increases will result in an average annual revenue increase of $796,000 for operations and maintenance and $123,000 for capital infrastructure activities, for a total increase of $4.6 million over five years, according to the district.
“During the first year, the average single-family home using 73 hundred cubic feet bi-monthly will experience an approximately $21 increase on their bi-monthly water bill. Similar increases would occur each year thereafter,” the notice informs ratepayers.
District officials indicate the average bi-monthly bill would increase from $398.17 in 2012 to $514.99 by 2017.

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