If you live in a city, how often do you think about water? Where it comes from, how you get it, what’s it cost, etc? For most people the answer is probably, “not often.” For most people in Stallion Springs, I bet it’s the same answer. I know that was true for me up until the last year or so. I have decided that it is important to k now what’s going on in our community with respect to services provided to us.
One of the best ways to get up to speed on the complexities of managing our community is to attend Board Meetings. Just so happens there’s one tonight at 7:00 p.m. In fact, there is a Stallion Springs Board Meeting on the third Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the CSD building, 27800 Stallion Springs Drive.
Tonight’s meeting is worth attending because it addresses several water-related issues residents should be aware of. The Board will be discussing Ordinance 141 and a separate water rate increase.
Ordinance 141 covers avoiding fees proposed by the Tehachapi Cummings County Water District (TCCWD). Ordinance 141 will be presented and discussed at this evening’s Board Meeting, and voted on at the January 19, 2010 Board Meeting. The General Manager’s recommendation is to approve Ordinance 141. Following it’s approval, property owners will need to sign the “Covenant Relating to the Extraction of Ground Water.” The Covenant will also need to be recorded. The General Manager will arrange to meet with residents and a notary to execute the Covenant.
This pretty much seems to be a no-brainer. Property owners will execute the Covenant which gives the CSD authority to act as the property owner’s agent with respect to extracting ground water located on their property. In effect, there is no difference to property owners water delivery pre – or – post Covenant.
The second issue addresses rate increases. Essentially, water costs are increasing and residents are going to be asked to pay for those costs. The District wants to implement a policy that will allow future rate increases based on the Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumers, All Items Index, Western Cities with populations between 50,000 and 1,500,000 (CPI-U) increase for that year. Confused?
What this boils down to is that, if the Resolution passes, the District can (but does not have to) increase water rates in a percentage no greater than the increase in the CPI-U. So, there may be no increase, or a percentage increase smaller than or up to the amount of the CPI-U. The Resolution also states, “Additionally, the Board may not go back in time to recapture previous CPI increases which were not captured by the Board.” Finally, although the Resolution, if passed, will go into effect immediately, no changes in rates will appear until the May meter read bill.
Be aware that the proposed rate increase does not address replacing any aging infrastructure. That’s yet another issue.
In my opinion, the District has addressed these issues in a fiscally responsible manner. That begins with combining the Public Protest Hearing notice with the routine assessment notices in order to save on postage.
Be a part of the community. Get educated about the issues and be part of finding appropriate solutions. Comments, suggestions, and ideas are welcome.