Plan Proposed to Make Oroville Water a Public Utility

Apr 11, 2016 7:36 PM by Hayley Skene

For decades, Oroville has paid the highest rates for water in Butte County.
Their rates went up 16% in 2014, and Cal Water plans to raise rates in Oroville another 18% in 2017.
At the request of city councilwoman Marlene Del Rosario, Jack Kiely with the Oroville Public Utility District brought forward a proposal on Tuesday the 5th.
The plan is to buy out Cal Water's Oroville operations and create a public utility.
Kiely says that Cal Water- Oroville pays hundreds of thousand a year in property and income taxes, as well as general office support out of San Jose.
He also points to a 1.6 million dollar raise for the Cal Water CEO.
Kiely suggested that Oroville buy a piece of Cal Water for about 10 million dollars, selling bonds to finance the purchase.
However, a Cal Water rep told the city council they're not selling.
The rep also suggested that the cost to take over could be three times what Kiely has estimated.
If Cal Water won't sell, the next step would be for the city to take legal action.
Councilwoman Del Rosario says the water situation is a high priority for the city.
If nothing changes, rates in Oroville will increase by 18% next January, which would be about double what Chico residents pay.


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