Friday, March 4, 2011

San Lorenzo Valley Water District Press Release:

SLV Water District Announces Plans to Seek Rate Hike
Average $14 hike to bill will be used to maintain and repair the valley's pipelines, water storage tanks and treatment facilities

March 3, 2011, Boulder Creek, Calif. - Citing increased operating costs and reduced revenues, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board of Directors voted unanimously tonight to seek a water rate hike that will add about $14 to the typical customer's bill for two months of water use.

District Manager Jim Mueller said operating costs have exceeded revenue by more than $600,000 over two years from the beginning of 2009 through the end of 2010, not including depreciation of district infrastructure. Increased operating costs were due mostly to maintenance and repairs to the system's pipelines, water storage tanks and treatment facilities. Over the same two year period, revenue to the district decreased $500,000, resulting from cooler temperatures requiring less watering, water conservation efforts and economic factors
forcing people to leave the area.

“Many of the costs for supplying water are fixed - they don't drop because people are using less water," said Board President Terry Vierra. “We still need to maintain the wells, pipelines and water treatment facilities, read the meters and care for the watershed."

The proposed rate hike will increase the average bi-monthly bill from $90 to $104, Vierra said. Even with the increase, water rates for SLV residents are still some of the lowest in Santa Cruz County.

The board has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed hike for May 19, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. Customers will receive a notice in the mail the first week of April that includes information on the proposed rate hike and instructions on how to protest it.

A Frequently Asked Questions section will be posted to the District website for more information about the planned rate increase- The San Lorenzo Valley Water District serves more than 7,300 connections in the valley, including Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, Brookdale, Scotts Valley and Felton.

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