Board to consider 20% water rate increase.

At its next meeting, the Board will consider a consultant’s report stating that water rates need to go up 20% to balance the expense budget adopted in November.  The report proposes increasing the Service Availability Charge (payable even when no water is used) 43% from $9.00 per share per month to $12.90.  The report also defines three alternative tiered rate structures for the volumetric charges. The Board will meet Tuesday, February 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hampton Inn, 50 W. Daily Drive.  Shareholders may attend and comment.

The underlying business problem is that in this second very rainy year in a row, we are not selling enough water to fund operations using the current rate structure.  In fact, Crestview projects that it will not sell enough water to use all of this year’s groundwater allocation.  The allocation system, run by Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency, has a use-it-or-lose-it feature that causes failure to use our entire allocation in any year to result in a permanent reduction of our pumping rights. That would mean in future dry years Crestview would be more dependent on very expensive imported water from Calleguas.  Ideally, we would consume every year exactly as much water as our groundwater allocation, but nobody seems to know how to get customers to use more water in a rainy year and less in a drought year.

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