Cambria CSD approves another water and sewer rate hike

October 10, 2018

As it has done multiple times in recent years, the Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors approved water and sewer rate increases last week.

On Oct. 4, the CSD held a ratepayer protest hearing, as required by California’s Proposition 218. Ratepayers submitted 1,268 protest votes, which fell about 700 short of the 50 percent plus 1 tally needed to upend the planned rate hike, the hearing official said. [Tribune]

District board members then noted the size of the protest was significant. However, the board voted unanimously to approve the rate hike, which will take effect on Nov. 1. Increases will be spread out over three years.

According to a district staff report, as of next month, the average utility bill for a single-family home will increase from $180.65 to $211.30. Critics say the initial increase under the new rate hike will be higher than what the district is projecting.

Cambria CSD officials say the water and sewer rate hikes are needed to fund aging infrastructure.

In the weeks prior to the Oct. 4 hearing, district officials had to resend notices about the planned rate hike, as well as postpone the ratepayer protest date, because of CSD mishaps while notifying the public. Additionally, the CSD board decided to part ways with the district’s general manager in the lead-up to the rate hike.

On Aug. 31, the CSD board met in a special closed session hearing in which it voted unanimously to negotiate a severance deal with district GM Jerry Gruber.

Gruber had served as the district’s top executive since 2011. Over his tenure, Gruber came under fire for a variety of issues, including an expensive water project; multiple water and sewer rate hikes; discrepancies in CSD accounting; and his own high pay, which reached more than $250,000 in salary and benefits.


Yeah, raises for the all in the CSD administration.


Basic California, charge more for less. It’s unfortunate that such a small group of people actually have the power to do this when the majority of people are against it. Then why is it like when businesses in the private sector have a reduction for demand for your their product they take steps to reduce costs and still provide the services needed. With government it’s not so much the service to the rate payer but more to districts or government bodies to maintain their salaries and benefits. Sooner or later there is going to be a big burst in the system and the swamp will fill and then overflow.


Make mistakes, hike the rates. Mantra. If you have infrastructures that you know will age, do you capitalize the initial expenditure, depreciate it AND establish a sinking fund over the life of the project?

Jorge Estrada

If the CSD were to sue Neptune for a prescriptive right to the oceans, after factoring in the cost of litigation, the rate payers can get saltwater. This is the inland strategy by the County of SLO, Paso Robles, Templeton CSD and San Miguel. They proved their open hostile and notorious thievery in the ancient past and won a feeble amount of that era but lost their grab on todays water, a victory to private land owners who only filed to protect their water rights as provided by California Constitution. Yes, steal it while you can because even Neptune will learn the evil ways of (for the publics best interest) government. Why is that the word public has become a communistic ploy? I thought we are to respect privacy, the rights of owners, ye odda ye odda?