On Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, during the Shasta County Board of Supervisors monthly meeting, Public Works Director Pat Minturn presented a proposal for a one-year rate increase for the County Service Area #6—Jones Valley Water that if approved would be mailed out to the current rate payers. The current expenditures for this service area have exceeded revenues for several years and fund balance has declined. The CSA is insolvent.
At the conclusion of his presentation Minturn said, “Through droughts and through horrific floods, this CSA has continued serving its customers. We’ve met all drinking water standards and met health and safety demands. And now its last goal is to regain solvency.”
The board unanimously voted to proceed to send out a notice to rate payers, which gives them the opportunity for protest, similar to the last time a notice was sent out.
Proposed Water Rates
Annual operating expenses of $224,180 were projected based upon Financial years-2014/2015; and 2015/2016 experience with inflation-adjusted labor costs.
County Service Area- #6-Jones Valley (CSA) was formed in 1980 and currently encompasses 3,033 acres. The system has been rebuilt and added onto a number of times, with the most recent expansion completed in 2013. It currently serves 472 active connections.
Rate Increase Timeline of events:
On March 8, 2017, the County Service Area #6-Jones Valley Rate Report – 2017 was completed.
On March 23, 2017, a public meeting was held at the Jones Valley Fire Hall. Staff present at that meeting reported that many customers in attendance thought the water use projection was overly conservative. With the drought over, or at least skipping a year, they asserted more water would be used. To account for this, a schedule with only three years of increases was considered.
On May 16, 2017, a Public Hearing on the proposed rate increase was held and a majority protest was received.
On June 13, 2017, acknowledging a negative fund balance in the CSA’s finances, the Board of Supervisors declared an emergency and adopted an ordinance intended to limit the financial losses in the CSA in an attempt to maintain the CSA’s long-term operating viability.
On July 18, 2017, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to prepare a rate study considering only one rate increase step (a one-year proposal).
On July 25, 2017, the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance establishing fees in order to recover the cost to the CSA of certain services such as processing late payments, collecting unpaid balances, shut-offs for failure to pay, backflow prevention testing, and other similar services.