Concerned over water rate increase in Atascadero
December 1, 2010
On November 10th, I was the only member of the public present when the Atascadero Mutual Water Company Board of Directors discussed raising the basic water rates. Due to the success of the water conservation program, revenues are down and rates need to be increased to cover fixed costs. I understand that.
Because there is less new construction, the fees for new water connections are not bringing in the projected revenue. I understand that.
During the meeting, a comment was made that it would be best if the public didn’t think the increased rates would be going to pay for a new administration building which is currently in the planning stage. Since the billing is now out-sourced (which last month caused double-billing plus a notice explaining the double-billing – that was a lot of postage!) and meter reading is out-sourced, why is a larger building needed? That I do not understand.
At the December 8 meeting, the board will decide whether to raise the basic rate by 50 cents, $1.50 or $2.50 per month. Their web site states there are currently over 10,000 service connections, so if they choose the highest rate increase, that will generate $300,000 additional income per year. Enough to build the new administration building in a few years?
Atascadero residents, don’t miss your opportunity to express your opinion on December 8th at 6:30 PM in the current administration building which is located at 5005 El Camino Real, on the corner of San Jacinto.
Kathleen Aragon is a resident of Atascadero.