BULLETIN: $8 million claim hits Paso water plans
January 9, 2009
A group of North County residents has filed a claim against the city of Paso Robles to recover $8 million in water and sewer fees they say has been improperly levied against property owners and ratepayers for the past six years.
John Borst of Concerned Citizens of Paso Robles (CCPR) said the claim was filed earlier this month for “damages as a result of violations of [state constitutional amendment] Prop. 218.” Four of its members retained the Manhattan Beach law firm of Huskinson, Brown, Heidenreich and Carlin, which specializes in taxpayer refunds and class action lawsuits. Such a claim, almost always denied by city lawmakers, is a precursor to a lawsuit. Paso Robles officials have 45 days to respond.
Borst said the claim states “the city’s collection of water and sewer fees since 2002 are illegal and asks that all collected fees be returned to the claimant and all other similarly situated water and sewer customers.” He noted a similar type of claim against Santa Cruz County’s Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency for $13.5 million “was successfully resolved in favor of ratepayers” in 2008. — By Daniel Blackburn