At its meeting on Tuesday, September 22, Rainbow Municipal Water District set the date for “a public hearing for the purpose of adjusting water rate.” That date is January 26, 2010.
“RMWD will need to consider adjusting water rates (both commodity and fixed charges) in order to fully fund the mandated covering of its four reservoirs. Rate adjustments would potentially affect all ratepayers...and may include commodity rates, fixed meter charges <and> the consideration of a new reservoir fee.”
In short, Proposition A, which would have allowed for the low-cost loan/grant package, was defeated. The mandate stands. The piper must be paid.
Later in the meeting, finance manager Gene Buckley stated that covering the three smallest reservoirs, if done on a pay-as-you-go basis (since borrowing seems out of the question), would cost each meter-holder $100 a month for three years.
Yes, $100 a month for three years. And that is just the three smallest reservoirs; it does not include the largest one or any other necessary infrastructure work.
Reports of many millions of dollars available for reservoirs are erroneous. Not all RMWD funds can be spent on water projects; some are reserved for sewer work only. Some funds are already committed to work planned or in progress. There are budgetary mandates for reserves.
Decisions have consequences and these are the ones RMWD ratepayers must face. That is, if we want a reliable supply of safe water. I do.