Paradise Water District holds first water rate workshop

Mar 4, 2016 11:37 AM by David McVicker

After a controversial rate change was successfully protested by Paradise residents, the Paradise irrigation district is now holding workshops to help educate the people on its latest proposed rate changes.

For most of January, the Paradise irrigation district was under heavy scrutiny regarding proposed rate changes to help comply with proposition 218.

Those changes included a tiered system which had many residents concerned about paying for water allotments instead of usage.

George Barber of the Paradise Water District said the rate adjustments will overall help customers.

“The last rate structure had water allotments built in, it was a lot more complicated,” he said. “A lot of our residents weren't happy paying for water in the winter they couldn't use.”

Now armed with a new proposed rate structure, district officials are holding public workshops to help educate customers on the new rate structures.

Steven Dougherty, Paradise Water customer, said he thought the workshops were actually helpful.

“This turned out to be really better than most people expected,” he said. “A lot of information was passed out to people a lot of questions were answered.”

According to district officials the new rate changes will be based on customer usage and will see an increase in total service charges as well as an increase in the price per unit.

According to some in attendance, customers with low usage may be faced with a 47 percent increase.

The proposed structures is meant to comply with proposition 218 which establishes cities cannot charge more than the cost of providing the service.

District officials say the numbers used in the workshop are the ceiling and they are actively working to reduce them within the next year.

“The rate that the board set to begin this process is the ceiling and we are looking to reduce that with in the year,” Barber said.

Though some in attendance were not completely happy with the proposed rates, many understood the need to compromise means there will be customers who are not happy.

“It's better than the last, it's not perfect we have a huge problem we have to do deal with, it's going to cost money,” Dougherty said. “People aren't going to like it and i think everyone is doing what they have to do to get the compromise they can.”

The Paradise irrigation district will hold five more workshops before the board will vote on the proposed rate changes at its meeting on April 7th. A full schedule of the workshops can be found here.


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