Proposition 218 Notice

Proposition 218 Notice Concerning Water Rate Increases and Changes to Rate Structures

The Scotts Valley Water District is considering rate and fee increases along with changes to rate structures. Proposition 218 45-day public comment period began on October 28 when an amended Proposition 218 Notice was mailed out to all customers. Click here to view Prop 218 Notice and click here to view the Amendment as a pdf file.

The Scotts Valley Water District Board of Directors will hold a Public Hearing at 6:00 pm on Monday, December 12 8, 2016, at a special Board meeting.

In developing its rates, Scotts Valley Water District  conducted a comprehensive Water Rate Study.  Click here to view the Water Rate Study webpage.  Click Here to view the draft Water Rate Study Report.

The Board of Directors will consider adoption of the proposed water rates, fees and charges, and changes to the water rates structure affecting all water customers. Interested persons are encouraged to attend and comment on the issues being discussed. The meeting will be held in Santa Margarita Community Room located downstairs at 2, Civic Center Drive, Scotts Valley, California.

Written protests: Any property owner or a tenant who is a customer of the Scotts Valley Water District may protest the proposed water rate fees and charges increases, and changes to the water rates structure. Only one written protest per parcel, filed by an owner or a tenant who is a customer, will be counted. Only written and signed protests that include the writer’s address and/or assessor parcel number will be counted to determine whether a majority protest to the proposed water rate increase exists. Written protests may be mailed, e-mailed or hand delivered to the General Manager, Scotts Valley Water District, 2 Civic Center Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, contact@svwd.org.

If you oppose the proposed water rate fees and charges increases, and changes to the water rates structure, Proposition 218 requires that your protest must be submitted in writing to be counted, even if you plan to attend the Public Hearing. To be counted, the protest must: 1) be in writing; 2) state opposition to the proposed rate increase; 3) identify the parcel by assessor’s parcel number or street address; 4) include the original signature of the owner of record or a tenant who is a customer of the Scotts Valley Water District; 5) be received before the conclusion of the Public Hearing on December 12, 2016.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is District proposing a new rate structure?
Pursuant to California Government Code, as resulting from a court case recently settled by the California Courts of Appeal, water agencies must demonstrate a nexus between the cost of providing services and benefits received. Tiered rates have to reflect the costs of providing water at each tier. No group of customers can be made to subsidize lower rates to another group of customers.

Does the drought have to do with the proposed rate increase?
Yes. In response to the drought and the Governor’s requirements for conservation, customers really stepped to the plate. In addition, the District implemented water efficiency programs. These efforts helped reduce combined consumption by 17% in 2014 and 24% in 2015 in comparison to 2013. Although less water was used, the District maintained (or even increased) their level of service and commitment to its customers. The significant reduction in the demand had a negative impact to District’s revenue resulting in over $1.3M in shortfall, which was covered by streamlining operations and dipping into reserves. The lower water use levels became the new norm – 2016 system-wide demand is similar to the two prior years. Currently the collected revenue is not covering fixed operating costs and necessary project expenses.

Does the proposed increase pay for new office facilities?
No.

Does the proposed increase go towards salaries and benefits?
A nominal portion of revenue received from the increase will help the District to maintain its efforts to recruit and retain a skilled workforce the receives compensation on par with similarly sized water utilities in the region.

What is the anticipated impact to a single family household?
A typical single family household received an average bi-monthly bill of $120 in 2013, based on an average of 15,000 gallons used in a billing period. Through more efficient use of water, in 2016 the average household used 11,250 gallons and incurred a bi-monthly bill of $105. Had they continued to consume water at the same level as 2013, their bill would have been $130. Under the proposed increases, the average bi-monthly bill is expected to be $132.