Local water board approves water rate increase
November 21, 2013The Board of Directors of the Valley Center Municipal Water District (VCMWD) voted during the Nov. 18 meeting to approve the proposed rate increases to customers, effective Jan. 1, 2014.
Domestic water users will see a 5 percent increase and the rate for those who use the county's Water Authority
Special Agricultural Water will see a 3.2 percent increase.
The new changes will be reflected on February billings, according to VCMWD.
"There's no changes to monthly service charges and no changes to monthly wastewater service charges at two treatment plants," Gary Arant, general manager for the district told the Valley Roadrunner on Tuesday.
He said the reason the service charges didn't increase are due to some efficiency improvements made by the district.
Some of the savings come from using electrical power off-peak for pumping, and also from solar power provided by the district's three solar projects, Arant said.
A presentation at the meeting showed that Valley Center water rates rank sixth lowest in 2013 out of the 21 agencies in San Diego County that were compared in an Oct. 31 survey.
Several other agencies countywide, such as Carlsbad, Del Mar and Otay, to name a few, have the same cost basis as VCMWD.
The 2014 proposed water rates also rank VCMWD at the sixth lowest, according to the survey.
The new increase to customers was included in the 2013-2014 operating budget, and stem from fixed charges VCMWD is required to pay regardless of the volume of water sold, according to James Pugh, director of finance for the district. He said that four of the past six years water sales were below budget.
Another action the board voted to approve was to increase the construction water permit fees for trucks that transport potable and non-potable water.
An example of that increase shows the current rate for a permit to carry 2,500 gallons or less is $220, which will now cost $230.
The board also adopted a resolution to support the floor candidacy of Kathy Tiegs for the office of the Association of California Water Agencies Vice President.
Tiegs is currently a director at the Cucamonga Valley Water District.