Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Barnes: Questions need to be answered about rate increase

Ratepayers in Clearlake Oaks need to get answers about why the local water company faces bankruptcy without an immediate rate increase. Some interesting issues were recently raised by Bob and Judy Heeszel of Clearlake Oaks in a letter they wrote. It might be enlightening for those impacted to attend the next water board meeting on July 16 (meetings are the third Wednesday of each month at 3 p.m. at the water company office on Highway 20). These are open to the public and you can address issues of concern not on the agenda which are under the board’s jurisdiction.


The recent rate notice sent out to parcel owners in Clearlake Oaks states that any opposition to a rate increase must be in writing no later than Aug. 16 and that only affected parcel owners can protest (you must be the legal owner of the parcel and clearly identify yourself and your parcel – e.g. your name as it appears on the assessor’s rolls and the assessor parcel number should be included in your written protest). You also have to state which rate increase you are protesting (water, and/or wastewater [sewer]). If 51 percent of parcel owners don’t respond by Aug. 16, then the new rate can go into effect.


We may need a rate increase but it should be reasonable and based on a realistic budget and cost analysis that is clearly and simply explained to ratepayers. This is our water company. We do not want to be taken over by a private company. Please get involved! Attend the public meeting on Saturday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Grange Hall on E. Highway 20 in Clearlake Oaks.


Judy Barnes lives in Clearlake Oaks.


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