** Dear Friends,
Here is the link for the board package for our Regular Helix Water District Board Meeting:
REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 2PM
7811 University Avenue, La Mesa, CA 91942-0427
Item 5. MINUTES for August 3rd Board Meeting (pdf page 8) - The board adopted in a 3 to 2 vote (YES - Muse, Linden Verbeke to NO – Scalzitti, Hedberg) to raise your water rates 10.1%. Water rates effective on billings after January 1, 2017 from water use after November 1 depending on billing cycle.
Here are two articles on the vote and have many of my comments and concerns that I expressed at the Board Meeting:
Union Tribune Article http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/aug/11/tp-helix-water-rates-to-rise-cost-for-average-us/
East County Magazine HELIX WATER BOARD VOTES 3-2 FOR 10.3% RATE HIKE WITHOUT PUBLIC HEARING: CANDIDATES BLAST INCUMBENTS http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/helix-water-board-votes-3-2-103-rate-hike-without-public-hearing-candidates-blast-incumbents
Item 6. Public Hearing on Proposed Addition of Fees and Charges to the Policies and Procedures Manual for the Lake Jennings
Recreation and Campground Operations
Addition of tee-pee rental venue at the campground (ribbon cutting soon).
& kayak rentals for the recreation program
More great improvements from suggestions of the Lake Jennings Committee (BOARD DRIVEN!!!) thus, the reason why the Lake Rec is now for the first time ever making a profit!
Item 10. Drought Update (pdf page 43)
The Board Report will show you that we are still cumulative 21% since monitoring in 2015…but this is my analysis!
July’s 2016 16% reduction vs. the July 2015 32% – that is a 16% difference!
Customers used 16% more water last month than the same month last year! Coupled with June’s 21% vs. June’s 25% reduction last year of another 4% difference…Thus, my 2016 Cumulative summary compared to 2013 is -18%.
However, just one week before this water use report came out (done in house)…our General Manager & staff said that we need to raise rates over 10% as customers will NOT be using more water than last year and our budget will fall short, thus they went with an estimated cumulative -20%!
Joel Scalzitti and I said let’s wait and see…because if we raise rates over 10% people will use less water once their bills come in!!! Jeeze…hopefully, come November, we can change the Board dynamics and reverse some of this…and not continue down this death spiral…increase rates, water use lower, lower revenue, budget shortfall, need to increase rates…our customers cannot afford these outrageous rate increases year after year!
As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.
Author: Kathleen Hedberg
Civil Engineer in 4th Term as a Helix Water District Board Director and Past President of the Board!